Bangkok, May 22 :
Thai army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha Thursday declared a coup, saying the army has seized power in order to prevent further tensions in Bangkok, media reported.
Chan-ocha announced on national television that the Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC) has now seized power from the caretaker government, the Bangkok Post reported.
He said this step was absolutely necessary to curb the ongoing political crisis.
All government agencies have continued to work normally, foreign relations are not being affected, and movement of weapons have been banned.
It is the 12th military coup in Thailand since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.
Chan-ocha Tuesday declared martial rule in the country and called on the public not to panic, saying that the military would maintain peace and order and bring the situation to normal in prompt fashion.
Armed with assault rifles and handguns and clad in combat fatigues, soldiers have taken control of major TV stations, power and water plants and spots around political gatherings in the capital and nearby areas.
However, groups of anti-government and pro-government demonstrators have remained in Rajdamnern Avenue at the heart of the capital and in its western outskirt.