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Thai police clash with protesters near king's palace

CA, 21 Mar 2021
WARNING: Video contains violent content not suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised.

Thai police used water cannons and charged toward protesters who had gathered near the King's Palace in Bangkok on Saturday to call for the release of protest leaders and demand the reform of the monarchy. Hundreds of police in riot gear and shields clashed with protesters, trying to push people away from the Grand Palace.

More than 1,000 protesters, some of whom threw firecrackers, had gathered near the palace in Bangkok in an area known as Sanam Luang, or Royal Field.

"We will arrest anyone on the streets," police said over loudspeakers as multiple lines of police advanced, pushing people back.

As well as water cannons, police used shields, batons, rubber bullets and tear gas and detained five protesters, police deputy spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told reporters.

"We repeatedly issued warnings before escalating our response," he said, adding that protesters used metal bars and threw stones and marbles.

The demonstrations come after parliament this week failed to pass a bill to rewrite the military-backed constitution, one of the protesters' main demands. A mass trial for protest leaders began this week against activists who were accused of sedition and insulting the monarchy.

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