Britain warns against all travel to Bangkok

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Britain urged its nationals to avoid travelling to Bangkok under any circumstances Wednesday, saying the risks had increased because of the "unpredictable violence" across the Thai capital.

Enraged protesters went on a rampage of arson and looting in Bangkok after an army assault on an anti-government rally left at least six people dead and forced their leaders to surrender.

"The Foreign Office is now advising against all travel to the city of Bangkok in view of the highly uncertain security situation and the currently unpredictable violence across the Thai capital," a statement said.

"We judge that the risk to the safety of British nationals has increased and have amended our travel advice accordingly."

This advice did not extend to travellers transiting Bangkok airport en route to other destinations, the Foreign Office said.

It also advised against "all but essential travel" to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where violence also broke out Wednesday.

"We continue to advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear temple area and advise against all but essential travel to the far southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla," the statement added.

The government imposed a curfew in Bangkok and 23 other provinces, out of a total of 76, in a bid to quell the eruption of violence, which follows weeks of protests by the Red Shirts against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

© 2010 AFP

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