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Emergency declared in Bangkok, officials flee mob fury

April 08, 2010 00:40 IST

Emergency has been declared in Thailans's capital Bangkok after anti-government protesters broke into the country's parliament building forcing top government officials to flee by helicopter.

Red-shirt supporters of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship entered the parliament compound on Wednesday afternoon to press Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election.

Over 1,000 protesters led by core member Arisman Pongruangrong broke into the parliament compound after another red-shirt group led by co-leaders Payap Panket and Suporn Attawong began withdrawing from the area to guard the pro-UDD satellite-based People Channel on Lat Phrao road, the Bangkok Post reported.

A group of protesters converged on Imperial World shopping mall on Lat Phrao road to prevent the People Channel from being shut down by the government.

Parliament President Chai Chidchob adjourned the parliament after the protesters surrounded the parliament compound on Wednesday morning.

The red-shirts moved to the parliament compound from their rally site near Phan Fa bridge after receiving reports that Prime Minister Abhisit and his deputy overseeing security Suthep Thaugsuban would hold the weekly cabinet meeting there.

Ladders were prepared for Members of Parliament to escape from the other side of the parliament, while security officials asked the protesters to make way for the lawmakers to leave.

Comedian and UDD key supporter Jeng Dogjik urged the protesters not to let Democrat Party MPs leave the parliament.

There were about 200 government and opposition MPs inside the parliament building, including Deputy Prime Minister Suthep and Prime Minister's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey.

With inputs from ANI

The Rediff News Bureau