Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Sunday, 12 April 2009 12:46 UK

In pictures: Bangkok emergency

Thai Army armored personnel carriers in Bangkok, April 12

Tanks have been deployed on the streets of the Thai capital, Bangkok, after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency amid growing lawlessness.

Demonstrators cheer after taking over a Thai Army armoured personnel carrier Sunday, April 12, 2009, in Bangkok

But soon there was chaos, as protesters with distinctive red shirts worn by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ignored the announcement, overrunning armoured vehicles.

Protesters inside the compound of the interior ministry after storming it, in Bangkok on April 12

Protesters also took over the interior ministry earlier, forcing Mr Abhisit to flee after delivering a televised address.

Protesters and supporters of exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra display a gun, Bangkok 12 April

The protesters - who are demanding Mr Abhisit's resignation - overpowered the Thai police easily, seizing their weapons.

Thai supporters of exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra surround a car after they smashed it, inside the compound of the interior ministry in Bangkok on April 12

They attacked a car they thought was carrying Mr Abhisit, but the Thai leader was not believed to have been in it.

A protester kneels in front of Thai soldiers in Bangkok, Thailand April 12

The prime minister threatened "tough measures" to end the protests, and hospitals in the city have been put on alert.

Soldiers stand guard outside the Asean venue

Sunday's violence comes a day after protesters forced the cancellation of a major Asian summit in the seaside resort of Pattaya.

Anti-government demonstrators storm through the 14th ASEAN convention hall

Then too, protesters overcame Thai security forces, taking over the venue for the summit.

A helicopter takes off from a roof of the hotel hosting the ASEAN summit

Delegates were evacuated by helicopter due to security concerns, in a situation that was seen as highly embarrassing to Prime Minister Abhisit.

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