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NEWS UPDATES 7 April 2010

Red shirts break into Thai parliament

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Anti-government red-shirted protesters raided parliament compound on Wednesday, forcing the session to abruptly end amid rumours about possible sabotage which sent lawmakers to flee the building, reported state news agency TNA.

As part of their weeks-long campaign to pressure Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the House, thousands of demonstrators carry their protest to the parliament after learning that the prime minister and his cabinet were holding a meeting there.

The protesters led by singer-turned-activist Arisman Pongruangrong broke through fence and riot police into the compound.

However, the cabinet meeting was adjourned shortly before the protesters arrived. The prime minister left the parliament earlier after chairing the meeting for 40 minutes.

House Speaker Chai Chidchob then declared the Lower House meeting closed at 11am (0400 GMT) as it lacks of a quorum.

Two cabinet ministers-- Chumpol Silapa-archa, Minister of Tourism and Sports and Chanchai Chairungruang, Industry Minister --led the MPs climbing fences at the parliament building backyard. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban who supervises national security reportedly remained inside the building.

Some MPs of the opposition Puea Thai Party led by first Deputy House Speaker Apiwan Viriyachai urged the red-clad protesters to leave the compound, saying the move was against democracy and obstructed the MPs' work.


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