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'SA travellers should be careful in Thailand'

Dirco condemned the military coup d'etat in Thailand and urged SA holidaymakers to be careful.

Thai soldiers stand guard after army chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced to the nation that the armed forces were seizing power. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations condemned the coup d'etat in Thailand and urged South Africans to take the necessary precautions when visiting the country.

Yesterday the military took control in a bloodless coup after months of political instability.

The announcement, in a televised address by the army chief, followed a last-ditch meeting purportedly aimed at resolving the crisis.

International Relations' Clayson Monyela urged South Africans to register on their website before they travel to the south East Asian country.

"Our advice is if you have to travel to the area you can go because there is no harm but please let us know so if you get into trouble we can help you."

The military takeover drew international condemnation with the US saying it's reviewing its military aid and other dealings with Thailand.

OUSTED THAI PRIME MINISTER ANSWERS GENERAL'S SUMMONS

Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha summoned ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to a meeting on Friday, a day after he seized power in a bloodless coup and said he wanted to restore order following months of turmoil.

Soldiers detained politicians from both sides when Prayuth announced the military takeover, which drew swift international condemnation, after talks he was presiding over broke down.

Leaders of pro- and anti-government protest groups were still believed to be in detention, said an opposition lawmaker who declined to be identified. The military banned 155 people, including politicians and activists, from leaving the country.

The military also censored the media, dispersed rival protesters in Bangkok and imposed a nationwide 10 pm to 5 am curfew.

It then called Yingluck and 22 associates, including powerful relatives and ministers in her government, to a meeting at an army centre in the capital.

The meeting could set the tone for army rule as Prayuth tries to steer the country out of crisis and fend off international criticism of the latest lurch into military rule.

*Additional reporting by Reuters.