"It is the 12th military coup in Thailand since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932."
Bangkok, May 23 - Deposed Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra, a few former Thai cabinet ministers, several anti-government protest leaders and pro-government Red Shirt leaders were detained by the military at unknown spots Friday, sources said.

Following Thursday's coup orchestrated by army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who overthrew the caretaker government, Yingluck and the other prominent politicians were questioned at the army auditorium and an army barracks and then detained at unknown safe houses, Xinhua cited sources as saying.

The whereabouts of the safe houses were a mystery as members of the press were stopped by army troops from following any vehicles leaving those premises.

Those detained include former premier Somchai Wongsawat and his spouse, Yaowapa Wongsawat, who is Yingluck's elder sister, former deputy premier Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal and former labour minister Chalerm Yubamrung.

Yingluck was summoned for questioning by the military at the army auditorium and then brought to the First Infantry Division base from across the street before she was taken to an unknown destination, they said.

Also detained at an undisclosed place were the Pheu Thai (For Thais) party's secretary general Pumtham Vejjachai and spokesman Prompong Nopparit. Both attended Thursday's dialogue at the army club in a bid to end a prolonged political conflict.

The detained anti-government protest leaders include Suthep Thaugsuban, Sombat Thamrongtanyawong and Sathit Wongnongtoey while the detained Red Shirt leaders include Chatuporn Prompand, Nattavut Saikua and Verakarn Musikapong, all of whom also attended the fruitless talks chaired by Prayuth.

Thursday night, Prayuth declared himself as acting prime minister until someone is found to permanently serve the post, media reported Friday.

As some laws stipulate that 'the prime minister' authorises actions under the law, Prayuth Chan-ocha and his assigned individuals will uphold that authority for the time being, the Bangkok Post quoted a statement of the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) as saying.

Prayuth will act as the prime minister for administrative purposes.

He Thursday declared a coup in Bangkok and seized power from the caretaker government in order to prevent tensions.

Following the coup, the NPOMC announced that the country's constitution was temporarily suspended. The government has been terminated, but the Senate and independent agencies will still be able to perform duties.

The NPOMC also ordered educational institutes to be suspended from Friday to Sunday.

Radio and TV stations have been blacked out and are playing only traditional music.

Other communications, including print media, internet and both regular and mobile phones were not affected.

However, it ordered all media, including print and internet, not to interview former government officials, academics, judges or other members of independent organisations in a way that may create conflict or confusion among the public.

All government agencies have continued to work normally, foreign relations are not being affected, and movement of weapons has been banned.

It is the 12th military coup in Thailand since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

Prayuth Tuesday declared martial rule in the country and called on the public not to panic, saying that the military would maintain peace and order and bring the situation back to normal.


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