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The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from January 22 to help contain a protest movement that has blockaded parts of the capital.
Deputy Interior Minister, Visarn Techateerawat announced the emergency after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Tovichakchaikul said the state of emergency would give a bigger role to the army to help deal with the growing unrest ahead of next month’s election.
The emergency decree gives security agencies the power to enforce curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare parts of the capital off-limits.