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Thailand army declares martial law

Thailand's army declared martial law in a surprise announcement in Bangkok.

It was not immediately clear whether a coup d'etat was under way.

The move comes after six months of anti-government demonstrations aimed at ousting the government.

The army said in a statement that it took the action to "keep peace and order".

The announcement came a day after the south-east Asian country's caretaker prime minister refused to step down.

Soldiers entered several private television stations sympathetic to protesters.

A ticker on Channel 5, an army station, however, denied the military was taking over, saying "the invocation of martial law is not a coup".

Thailand's army has staged at 11 successful coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

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