British Embassy in Bangkok closed due to recent violence

The Foreign Office was already advising against all but essential travel to Bangkok after violent anti-government protests in the past weeks, but officials decided to close the British Embassy temporarily due to its proximity to the demonstrations in the capital.

Protests have been held to pressure prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to resign and call elections because of beliefs that the coalition government came to power illegitimately.

Renegade army general, Major General Khattiya Sawasdiphol, who was backing the protesters, was shot in the head in the street as he spoke to foreign reporters and ensuing clashes between protesters and soldiers were violent with a second person dead and many others injured.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The UK embassy will be closed to the public on Friday due to its proximity to the demonstrations in central Bangkok. Our embassy will continue to monitor developments in Bangkok in order to provide British nationals with the most up-to-date information.

"British nationals in Thailand requiring consular advice can continue to contact our embassy via our telephone hotline, which is staffed at all times. We will keep the situation under review."

The Thai government  has extended its state of emergency to cover 17 provinces.

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