In pictures: Thailand comes under martial law

  • 20 May 2014
  • From the section Asia
Image caption The surprise announcement of martial law in Thailand came before dawn - the military said it was necessary to keep the country stable after six months of unrest.
Image caption The move effectively places the army in charge of public security across the country. Senior soldiers insist however that their actions do not amount to a coup.
Image caption Armed troops entered numerous private television stations throughout Bangkok to pass on an appeal to people to stay calm and carry on with their normal working lives.
Image caption Troops took up position at other key sites in Bangkok, including outside the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police, underneath a picture of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Image caption Most people in Bangkok seemed to respond to the army's move with equanimity, with commuters seen travelling to work as usual.
Image caption Anti-government protesters danced at their main protest site outside Government House, the official office of the prime minister.
Image caption Some people, like this tourist, even took the opportunity to pose next to the soldiers
Image caption On a major road alongside the country's most luxurious shopping malls, commuters passed soldiers in jeeps mounted with machine guns.
Image caption The army has staged 11 coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932 - senior generals argue that a 1914 law gives it authority to intervene in times of crisis.
Image caption Thailand has been unstable since 2006, when ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra was toppled by the army after being accused of corruption and disrespect for the king.