Hundreds defy Thai junta warning against protests

Associated Press
May 25, 2014
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An anti-coup protester clashes with Thai soldiers during a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, May 25, 2014. The top general in Thailand's ruling junta warned people Sunday not to join anti-coup street protests, saying normal democratic principles cannot be applied at the time, as troops fanned out in central Bangkok to prevent rallies.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK (AP) — Hundreds of protesters in the Thai capital are defying the junta's warning against anti-coup demonstrations with a rally in the central shopping district that's being closely watched by troops.

Earlier Sunday, Thailand's top general who staged last week's coup, Prayuth Chan-ocha, told people to avoid rallies, saying normal democratic principles cannot be applied at this time.

About 500 angry protesters didn't listen and confronted troops who blocked access to the city's Skytrain in an attempt to prevent a third day of protests in Bangkok on Sunday.

At one point a group of soldiers was chased away by the crowds at Ratchaprasong shopping district. By midday, soldiers blocked off elevated walkways linking the upscale malls and Skytrain stops to the area have been suspended.