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Dirco comments on Thailand coup

South Africans have been warned to stay away from the areas where protests are happening.

South Africans have been warned to stay away from the areas where protests are happening. Picture: Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations (Dirco) said dozens of South Africans in Thailand have already started contacting their mission there following the declaration of marshal law.

Thailand is now under military control through a coup, which followed shortly after the country's prime minister was sacked by the constitutional court.

The department also warned South Africans living there to stay away from the areas where pro-government protests are taking place.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said, "We'd like to urge them to observe the curfew which is between 10 pm and 5 am. Avoid protest areas and maintain regular contact with our embassy."

OPPOSITION TO THAI COUP SIMMERS

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was in a "safe place" on Saturday, an aide said, after being held by Thailand's army following its seizure of power this week, as opposition to the coup grew among her supporters and pro-democracy activists.

The army moved on Thursday after failing to forge a compromise in a power struggle between Yingluck's populist government and the royalist establishment, which brought months of sometimes violent unrest to Bangkok's streets.

The military detained Yingluck on Friday when she and 154 other people, mostly political associates, were summoned to an army facility in Bangkok.

A senior officer had said she could be held for up to a week and Thai media reported she had been taken to an army base in Saraburi province north of Bangkok, but an aide denied that.

"Now she's in a safe place ... She has not been detained in any military camp. That's all I can say at this moment," the aide said, declining to be identified.

A source from her Puea Thai Party added: "We can't say she is absolutely free because there are soldiers in the area, monitoring her."

This source said several former ministers from her cabinet were being held in army facilities in Saraburi, neighbouring Lopburi province or Bangkok.