Thai Military Officially Declares Coup

After declaring martial law Tuesday, the Thai military has launched a coup in earnest, taking over the government in response to months of political turmoil and the removal of the country's prime minister and members of the administration.

"It is necessary for the Peace and Order Maintaining Command — which includes army, navy, armed forces and police — to take control of governing the country," Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced over a national television broadcast. The military has instituted a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The coup comes after two days of failed negotiations between the country's rivaling political leaders. Included in those talks was four members of the acting prime minister's Cabinet, who attended in his place. The Cabinet members are still being held by the military.

Further from the Associated Press:

Prayuth invoked the military's expanded powers Tuesday and issued more than a dozen edicts that included broad powers of censorship over the media, the Internet and vaguely defined threats to prosecute opponents.

"We ask the public not to panic and to carry on their lives normally," Prayuth said. "And civil servants stay in every ministry, carry on your responsibilities as normal."

This is Thailand's 12th military coup since the monarchy's absolute rule ended in 1932.

[Image via AP]