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Chuck Hagel urges Thailand to 'return to democracy'

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has called on Thailand to "return to democracy" during an Asia-Pacific security forum after the military took over control of the government in a coup.

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Thai army 'to escort protesters from rally sites'

Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seen announcing a coup on Thai television. Credit: Thai TV

Thailand's army is to send troops and vehicles to escort protesters away from rally sites, a senior army official told Reuters shortly after the military staged a coup today.

"We will send troops and vehicles to help protesters leave all rally sites," General Teerachai Nakwanit, First Regional Army Commander, told Reuters.

Protesters from pro and anti-government groups have been rallying at sites in and around Bangkok as part a protracted political crisis.

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