BANGKOK, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Thursday declared a coup to prevent further loss of life and prevent the conflict in the country from further escalating.
Prayuth Chan-cha declared the coup at a TV station, saying the coup started from 17:00 local time.
In an address to the nation, the army chief said in order for the country to return to normal quickly, the Thai armed forces need to seize power.
The Peace and Order Maintaining Command has now seized power from the caretaker government, Prayuth said.
He also said the takeover will not affect international relations.
The coup came after a meeting of all rival factions called by the military failed in finding a solution to the prolonged anti- government protests in the country.
Thai troops charged into the meeting room at the Army Club at 4: 30 p.m. after the seven-partite talk erupted in heated disputes.
The commanders-in-chief and other armed forces and the police chief were seen leaving the meeting room in a car before the representatives to the meeting were captured by troops.
The protest leaders from both sides and some other politicians attending the reconciliation meeting were all taken to the First Army Regiment, which is located next to the Army Club.
The coup also came two days after the military declared martial law in the country.
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