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Thai court acquits Red Shirts of terrorism for 2010 protests

The Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) A court in Thailand has dismissed charges of terrorism and other offenses against 24 leaders of an extended street protest in 2010 that saw key parts of central Bangkok closed off and random violence that was ended by armed military force.

The Bangkok Criminal Court ruled Wednesday that the two-month protest by the Red Shirt supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, during which 91 people were killed and thousands hurt, was a political fight rather than terrorism.

Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006 after being accused of corruption and disrespect for the monarchy. His allies won a 2007 election, but parliamentary maneuvering installed the rival Democrat Party in power in 2008, inspiring the protest that called for Democrat Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down.

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