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Soldiers man checkpoints in a search for weapons. On Thursday, the military carried out a coup d'état, saying it wished to restore order to a fractious country.Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced on national television it was taking control of government. 6. SOUNDBITE: (Thai) General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, Army Commander:"The Peace and Order Maintenance Command ,which includes the Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Air Forces, Royal Thai Navy, and National Police, (hereby announce) that it is necessary to take control of governing the country, starting May 22nd, at 1630 onward."At least six months of political conflict between pro and anti government activists came to a head on Tuesday. The army declared martial law, and created the Peace and Order Maintaining Command or POMC. 7. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) DEPUTY ARMY SPOKESMAN, WINTHAI SUVAREE, SAYING:"Heavy-duty weapons have been one of the major problems that contributed to the earlier violence in the country. Under the POMC, we will be taking absolute measures."The army had been convening negotiations between polarised elements of Thai society: Thailand has been gripped by unrest since last November, when demonstrators called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down...Many accuse her of simply being a proxy for her billionaire brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006. The coup announced on Thursday was the 12th since the country's absolutemonarchy ended in 1932.
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