12 Mar '11, 7am

Bangkok braces for major rally

BANGKOK: Several thousand police were deployed in the Thai capital Saturday ahead of a major rally by anti-government "Red Shirts" to mark the first anniversary of the start of mass protests that turned deadly. Thai society remains bitterly divided following the worst political violence in decades which left about 90 people dead -- mostly civilians -- in a series of street clashes between armed troops and protesters in April and May 2010. National police spokesman Major General Prawut Thavornsiri said almost 3,500 police officers were deployed for Saturday's rally and more were on standby. "Police predict there will be more than 40,000 protesters and the rally will continue into the early hours, but we don't expect any violence," he said. A procession of red-clad protesters on motorbikes was seen streaming through central Bangkok waving red flags on their way to the gather...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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