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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai mobs storm govt

Thai mobs storm govt

BANGKOK - Thousands of Thai protesters stormed a state-run TV station and the seat of government Tuesday, in what Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said was an effort to provoke another coup.

More than 30,000 protesters demanding his resignation seized the television station, invaded the grounds of Government House and besieged at least three ministries in their efforts to cripple Samak's administration.

Samak, who was elected in December and formed his coalition government in February, warned that his patience was running out.

"They want bloodshed in the country, they want the military to come out and stage a coup again," he said. "I will not resign, I will stay to protect this country."

Samak said police would surround the seat of government - where most of the protesters who rallied throughout the day have camped out - and not let any supplies or people in until all the protesters left.

"Police will take decisive action against the protesters ... government restraint is almost over," he said, but added that force would not be used and the government's approach would be "soft and gentle."

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which has been protesting since May, claims Samak is running the country on behalf of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006.

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