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Turbulent Thailand

Thailand protests prompt 'serious emergency' decree banning crowds

Government says it must keep public 'in order' as fears for fragile economy grow

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, left, and Queen Suthida in a motorcade driving toward the Grand Palace in Bangkok.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thai authorities declared a "serious emergency situation" in Bangkok early on Thursday and cleared thousands of demonstrators who had surrounded the seat of the government, in a clampdown after months of youth-led protests.

The emergency decree, which bans gatherings of more than four people, took effect at 4 a.m. and comes just as the country is attempting to rev up its coronavirus-hit economy. Some analysts worry that further turmoil could undermine that recovery.

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