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Police detain summit protest leader

Arisman Pongreungrong, leader of anti-gov't protests in Pattaya, has been detained. The arrest comes as Thai PM Abhisit (photo) vowed action against protesters, who stormed the ASEAN summit venue on Saturday, forcing it to be cancelled.

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AFP - Thai police Sunday arrested the leader of anti-government protesters who stormed an Asian regional summit, forcing it to be cancelled.

Police said Arisman Pongreungrong was detained at his home in the capital following his return to Bangkok.

   
"The police went to arrest Arisman Pongreungrong at his house on the charge of inciting protesters to kidnap the prime minister and cause unrest in the country," a police spokesman said.

He said Arisman had cooperated with authorities who arrested him and took him to a police station in Bangkok's suburbs for questionning.

"There will be further arrests, but right now the police are gathering evidence," the spokesman added.

Arisman led at least 1,000 protesters loyal to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who overwhelmed police lines Saturday and stormed the hotel hosting the summit of Asian leaders.

Authorities had to cancel the event and send helicopters to evacuate foreign leaders already in attendance.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's four-month-old coalition government has faced weeks of escalating protests peaking with the summit closure.

It follows months of turmoil triggered by rival demonstrators who briefly shuttered Bangkok's airports late last year, sparking a political crisis that led to Abhisit taking office.
 

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