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Protesters block traffic in Bangkok during mass rally
Updated: 2009-04-10 09:35

BANGKOK -- More than 100 bus routes and some medical vehicles had to bypass a major business area in Bangkok as the anti-government protesters brought the surrounding traffic to a halt, Thai media reported Thursday.

Protesters block traffic in Bangkok during mass rally
Taxi drivers and supporters of former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra block the main road during an anti-government protest at the Victory monument in Bangkok April 9, 2009. [Agencies]

By mid-afternoon, about 100 taxi drivers, who are supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), began parking their cars at the intersections of all roads to the Victory Monument roundabout as well as to nearby hospitals, Bangkok Post reported on its website.

Mass Transit Authority of Thailand has to redirect more than 100 bus routes due to the shutdown of traffic; and hospitals urged protesters to open at least one lane for medical services.

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Thai News Agency said metropolitan police tried in vain to negotiate with the taxi drivers to open traffic. The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BMTS) train station at the Victory Monument has been crowded with desperate commuters.

The blockage of traffic is one of the steps took by UDD after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva failed to comply with their ultimatum and refused to resign.

According to another newspaper The Nation, core UDD leader Jatuporn Phrompan earlier said they might take new measures to push the government to give in, adding that their measures will comply with the law and bring "the least inconvenience" to the public.

Their measures could include an attempt to disrupt summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Pattaya starting on Friday, sources close to the UDD leadership said, quoted by Bangkok Post.

The latest round of protests in Bangkok has entered the 15th day, and since March 27 all of the entrances of the Government House have been blocked by the anti-government protesters, preventing Abhisit and his cabinet ministers from entering to work.

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