7,650 soldiers on rally alert
- Published: 23/11/2012 at 07:51 PM
- Online news:
The army has 7,650 soldiers ready to help police during the anti-government protest this weekend, an army source said on Friday.
The directive to the army was issued by Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat, who also set up a situation room at the Defence Ministry on Friday to assess the situation and coordinate with other security agencies.
About 7,000 soldiers were ordered to stay at their posts at the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the King's Guard, Air Defence Artillery Division and the Army Air Defence Command as a backup. Another 650 equipped with batons and riot shields were ready to mobilise at any given notice, the source added.
The government is using police forces to deal with the rally by the Pitak Siam group on Saturday. It has also set up a so-called Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order to monitor the demonstration, whose supporters want to oust the government.
National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the centre commander, said the government had no plan to break up the protest and called for patience from police during the rally.
He defended the enforcement of the Internal Security Act in the three districts of Phra Nakhon, Pomprap Sattruphai and Dusit, saying it allowed authorities to better control the protesters and ensure public safety.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters