Thai prime minister declares emergency in capital

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Thailand's prime minister has declared a state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, after violent street clashes between supporters and opponents of the government.

The violence broke out overnight and left one person dead. It has heightened a political crisis that started a week ago when thousands of government opponents occupied the grounds of the prime minister's office demanding his resignation. They accuse the prime minister of trying to change the constutition to help former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra avoid prosecution on corruption charges.

Thaksin was ousted in a coup two years ago and recently fled to Britain.

Many of the same issues, including corruption, stifling the media and the ruling party's buying votes from the rural poor, have dominated the protests against the current prime minster.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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