Demonstrators swarm airport, stop departing flights

BAHGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- The violence between supporters and opponents of Thailand's government has escalated to new levels.

Anti-government demonstrators have swarmed the international airport in Bangkok, putting a stop to departing flights. This, as the two sides fought in the streets of the city.

Minutes after the outbound flights were suspended, hundreds of demonstrators broke through police lines and spilled into the passenger terminal.

Incoming flights are still operating.

The airport manager says authorities tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the protesters. They accuse the country's prime minister (Somchai Wongsawat) of being a puppet of his disgraced predecessor. They've occupied his offices since August, demanding his resignation.

A tourist from North Carolina, Daniel Garmona, was caught up in the chaos at the airport. He says he's never seen anything like it -- and that he's glad it didn't turn violent.

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

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