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Bangkok braces as Thai protesters set for shutdown

Sunday - 1/12/2014, 10:30pm  ET

BANGKOK (AP) -- Thailand is bracing for a new wave of mass unrest Monday as anti-government demonstrators block major roads to "shut down" Bangkok in a bid to thwart February elections and overthrow the nation's democratically elected prime minister.

The intensified protests, which could last weeks or more, raise the stakes in a long-running crisis that has killed at least eight people in the last two months and fueled fears of more bloodshed to come and a possible army coup.

Major streets in the capital are empty after demonstrators set up stands in the middle of intersections and are forcing drivers to turn their cars around. At one intersection, protesters have hung huge Thai flags from an overhead walkway.

Protesters are vowing to surround Cabinet ministries to prevent them from functioning, and vowing to cut water and electricity to the private residences of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (TAHK'-sin SHIN'-uh-wah) and her Cabinet.

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