7 Apr 2010

Protests spread in Bangkok

7:28 am on 7 April 2010

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have defied a government ban to march through more areas of Bangkok.

The government had ordered the red-shirts, as the protesters are known, not to demonstrate along 11 key routes. But the protestors fanned out into Bangkok's business district.

The move followed scuffles earlier in the day between riot police and protesters.

The BBC reports it was the first clash since the protests began almost a month ago.

The red-shirts have now established two camps in Bangkok - one in the government district and a second in the city's commercial centre.

The blockade has caused shops to close and tourists to leave hotels.

The protestors want the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who came to power in the wake of a military-backed coup. They say they will not move from Bangkok until their demands for fresh elections are met.