Thailand's anti-government protesters and security forces on Wednesday observed a temporary truce as the nation prepared to mark the birthday of the revered king, after police stepped back in a dramatic move to calm violent clashes.
In the day's only significant demonstration, hundreds of protesters descended on the national police headquarters in Bangkok's glitzy downtown shopping district, where police allowed them to cut barbed wire and pull away sections of a concrete barrier. The demonstrators withdrew shortly afterwards.
The overwhelming mood was calm in the capital, as demonstrators joined Bangkok authorities to clean up the area around Democracy Monument, where tens of thousands have camped out in more than a month of rallies against the embattled government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The area is a focus for the celebrations on Thursday for the 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej - a date normally observed in a spirit of calm and reverence for the ageing monarch.