Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thai military makes coup attempt, backs king

Thailand's military, pledging loyalty to the king, launched a coup attempt against the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday night.

Tanks encircled government buildings including Thaksin's official headquarters known as Government House.

The prime minister is in New York where he is scheduled to speak before the United Nations on Tuesday. He declared a state of emergency via a government-owned television station.

Thai soldiers ride in a car next to Government house in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday Sept. 19, 2006. Rumors of a military coup swept the Thai capital after an army-owned television station suspended regular programming and played patriotic songs. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Thai soldiers patrol near the official presidential office Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday Sept. 19, 2006. AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit via Yahoo News.

Thaksin's opponents have called on the prime minister to step down, but new elections after Thaksin dissolved parliament were annulled by the courts. This has left Thailand without a functioning legislature.

Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin is apparently leading the coup attempt according to an anonymous source.