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BANGKOK – Chaos is gripping the city of Bangkok. The Thai government is doing what they can to control it!

The Thai government has issued a curfew in Bangkok from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. as rioting and violence spread across the capital. The curfew will be imposed on Wednesday night, defense minister General Prawit Wongsuwon said after a military offensive against anti-government protestors in the capital.

Army Spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd said that the offensive had successfully yielded the surrender of “Red Shirts” protest leaders and that authorities can “control the situation overall.” The thousands of protestors now leaving the rally zone in central Bangkok, which they have occupied for six weeks, would be assisted in returning home, he added.

Bangkok had become a raging battleground in the aftermath of an army crackdown on protestors. Television footage showed fires burning across the city, which has a population of nine million. Thailand’s stock exchange was substantially damaged by fire, Thamon Onketpol, an advisor to the governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, told Thai PBS television. A blaze in the building where Channel 3 is based had trapped “many people,” he added.

Although the army has gained the surrender of protest leaders, gunfire and explosions continue to rock the city. Demonstrators shot out windows and set fires in the Central World and Siam Paragon shopping malls.

The Red Shirt demonstrators view Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s rule as illegitimate.

“We will continue to fight for democracy, this is not our day,” Nattawut Saikur, one of several Red Shirt leaders, said as he arrived at a local police station. “We have been trying to do our best for the country to be truly owned by the people.”