Thai Military Launches Coup, Backs King
By Grant Peck
The Associated Press
Tuesday 19 September 2006
The Thai military launched a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday night, circling his offices with tanks, seizing control of TV stations and declaring a provisional authority pledging loyalty to the king.
An announcement on Thai television declared that a "Council of Administrative Reform" with King Bhumibol Adulyadej as head of state had seized power in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance.
At least 14 tanks surrounded Government House, Thaksin's office. Thaksin was in New York at the U.N. General Assembly and declared a state of emergency via a government-owned TV station.
A convoy of four tanks rigged with loudspeakers and sirens rolled through a busy commercial district warning people to get off the street for their own safety.
A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin had used the military to take over power from the prime minister.