5 Dec 2013

Lull in Thai protests

6:44 am on 5 December 2013

Anti-government protests in Thailand have stopped in the lead-up to the king's 86th birthday.

People have been cleaning the streets for the celebrations on Thursday. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is widely revered.

The protests in Bangkok started on 24 November and attempts were made to storm Government House on Monday.

But on Tuesday, police defused tensions by taking down barriers and razor wire outside their headquarters and allowing protesters inside.

On Wednesday, some protesters and government forces were cleaning the area around the Democracy Monument.

A BBC correspondent said it fells like a pause and not an end to the demonstrations.

The protesters want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government to step down and be replaced by an unelected "People's Council".

At least four people have died since Saturday, in Thailand's worst political turmoil since 2010.