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Thai coup leader threatens crackdown

Published Mon, May 26, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[BANGKOK] Thai coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday he had been formally endorsed by the king as head of a military council that will run the country, and warned he would use force if political protests flare up again.

Gen Prayuth seized power on May 22, saying the army would restore order after nearly seven months of sometimes deadly street demonstrations. The military has taken into custody scores of politicians, activists and others.

"Will we go back to where we were before? If you want to do that, I will need to use force and impose the law strictly," Gen Prayuth said in a statement he read on television. "You will have to forgive any tough measures as they are necessary." He did not set a timeframe for how long the army would stay in power, although he said he hoped to hold elections soon.

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