The Thai military has taken control of the government in a coup, the country’s military chief announced in a national address Thursday.
Military officials also imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET), authorities said in a televised address.
The developments are the latest in a chain of failed attempts to defuse tensions that have simmered since November. The discord has its roots in politics, and led both pro- and anti-government factions to fight over the country’s leadership.
The military on Tuesday imposed martial law in an attempt to end the instability, but said it was not a coup. Now, it has taken power outright.
The move came after rival factions were unable to come up with a suitable agreement to govern, the military chief said.
Hours earlier, members of the military and opposition parties met for a second day to try to find a solution to the crisis.
Members of the political parties involved in the talks were seen under military escort after the meeting. A lawyer for the pro-government “Red Shirts” confirmed that the military had detained the movement’s leaders.
Gunshots were heard Thursday at the site in Bangkok where the Red Shirts have been protesting. A former national security chief described these as warning shots to get the crowd to leave.
In his address, the military chief, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, told citizens that it should be business as usual. All civil servants and officials should report to work, he said, and anyone who has weapons — such as police — should not make any attempt to move those without orders.
The military also said it will provide security to foreigners, including vacationers and diplomats.