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Police have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon against protesters in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as demonstrators defied COVID-19 restrictions to call for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s resignation.

The protests came on Sunday as the kingdom is currently facing its worst wave of COVID-19 infections, registering daily case records as hospitals buckle under pressure.

“We will die from COVID if we stay home, that is why we have to come out,” shouted a protest organiser, who listed three demands.

“Prayuth Chan-ocha must resign without any condition; the second is a budget cut to the monarchy and army to be used against COVID, and the third is to bring in mRNA vaccine.”

A giant banner with a picture of Prayuth – the mastermind of a 2014 coup – was unfurled on the road, with protesters then stomping on his face.

As they marched on Government House, they were led by a group wearing gas masks and hard hats and were joined by motorbike drivers who hoisted the mock body bags.

But authorities deployed water cannon early and blocked the main road, forcing protesters to retreat.

“We will die from COVID if we stay home, that is why we have to come out,” shouted a protest organiser, who listed three demands.

“Prayuth Chan-ocha must resign without any condition; the second is a budget cut to the monarchy and army to be used against COVID, and the third is to bring in mRNA vaccine.”

A giant banner with a picture of Prayuth – the mastermind of a 2014 coup – was unfurled on the road, with protesters then stomping on his face.

As they marched on Government House, they were led by a group wearing gas masks and hard hats and were joined by motorbike drivers who hoisted the mock body bags.

But authorities deployed water cannon early and blocked the main road, forcing protesters to retreat.

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