Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Protesters shut Thailand's international airport

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Protesters commandeering Thailand's main airport forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and stranded thousands of travelers Wednesday as they escalated their 4-month-old campaign to oust the prime minister.

The bold takeover — carried out while Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat was attending the Asia-Pacific summit in Peru — stranded 4,000 travelers and raised the stakes in a standoff that has seen a spike in violence in recent days and has given the tourism-dependent country a massive black eye.

Airport director Serirat Prasutanont said authorities were trying to negotiate with the protesters to allow stranded passengers to fly out.

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