Thailand's army declares martial law, denies coup
The army in Thailand declared martial law early Tuesday as political unrest continues in the country. But the military denied the beginning of a coup.
Officials said they issued the surprise nationwide order to install order and a proper functioning government after six months of scattered violent street protests. General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief, said the law would last until the restoration of peace, according to a report published by Reuters and The Associated Press. He also said the army will take action against anyone who harms civilians and uses force.
“I asked all sides, all groups to stop any movement in order to start the sustainable solution as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.
Fears of civil war in the southeastern Asian country have risen during a nearly decades-long power struggle between the former telecoms tycoon Thaksin and the royalist establishment. Demonstrators have taken to the streets most recently in ongoing protests since November.