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Free speech takes a hit ahead of the Thai vote

Junta's strong-armed efforts to reign in social tensions could backfire

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Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, center, attends the annual Royal Plowing Ceremony in Bangkok on May 12.   © Reuters

BANGKOK An explosion at a military hospital in Bangkok on the third anniversary of the ruling junta underscored Thailand's delicate political situation ahead of the first full-fledged election in seven years.

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