Thailand: Police fire tear gas at anti-government protests

Thai riot policemen clash with demonstrators during a protest in Bangkok on November 24, 2012. Thai police fired tear gas and detained dozens of people as tensions flared at an anti-government protest on November 24 in Bangkok, the scene of several outbreaks of violent unrest in recent years.

Police in Thailand have fired tear gas at protesters demonstrating against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

At least 10,000 protesters gathered Saturday in Bangkok's Royal Plaza, near parliament, calling for Yingluck's government to be overthrown, the BBC reported.

She is accused of being a puppet of her brother, the deposed Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

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The demonstration was organized by a new royalist group called "Pitak Siam," or "Protect Thailand."

The BBC said at least seven police officers were wounded in clashes, two of them seriously. 

Thai newspaper The Nation quoted police as defending the firing of tear gas, saying that protesters had tried to break into the Government House.

Agence France-Presse said dozens of demonstrators were detained.

Thailand has been mired in political instability and protests since the country's army toppled Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2006 military coup.

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