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Thailand to Impose Security Law For Rally

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai government plans to invoke a tough security law, giving the armed forces broad powers to control a rally in Bangkok by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a minister said on Monday.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) allows the country’s top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators if protests by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) turn violent.

“Based on information we have received, there are many groups of protesters and some may attempt to use violent means,” Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said following a meeting with top security officials, adding that violent acts may include bombings and seizure of government offices.

The ISA, to be formally invoked after a weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, would be imposed from March 11 to March 23 in Bangkok and surrounding areas, where anti-government protesters plan to rally to press for new elections.

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