The stand-off between Thailand's anti-government protesters and security forces intensified in Bangkok on Friday. Until nightfall, there was no sign of the protest tapering off, although troops and other security forces heightened their vigil to enforce Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's emergency decree.
During the day, the security forces fired teargas and used water cannon when a group of protesters tried to storm the premises of a television channel which the government had earlier disabled. The authorities had zeroed in on the channel for disseminating what they described as distorted news against the government and the Prime Minister in particular.
The showdown between the protesters and the security personnel at the television station did not last long, with the authorities appearing to have staged a tactical retreat. An official spokesman emphasised that the government's priority was to enforce the emergency decree without using force to the utmost extent possible.
Late-night reports from Bangkok indicated that the protesters, who had stormed the anti-government television station, managed to reactivate it. There was no immediate and independent confirmation of such a turn of events. In the government's assessment, the disabling of that channel would act as a deterrent against any escalation of the protest.