Thai protesters vow new demonstration despite crackdown

By Kay Johnson and Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Hundreds of Thais chanted at protests that popped up across Bangkok on Saturday in defiance of a crackdown on three months of demonstrations aimed at the government and the powerful monarchy.

After police used water cannon for the first time against a protest by thousands of people in central Bangkok on Friday, protesters agreed to assemble at different points across the city on Saturday.

Several hundred, many in black t-shirts, staged a rally at the Lat Phrao station in northern Bangkok. Protests were also reported from several other parts of the city as police said rail services were shutting in much of central Bangkok to thwart the demonstrations.

"Prayuth get out" the protesters chanted, in reference to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military ruler they accuse of engineering an election last year to prolong the hold of the army.

In a widening crackdown, police have arrested more than 50 people - including several protest leaders - in the past week.

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