Thai PM says shattered capital calm, returning to normal

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that schools, streets and government agencies would reopen Monday after being shuttered to keep civilians out of central Bangkok during clashes between security forces and "Red Shirts" protesters.

"Everything is calm and returning to normalcy," he said in his regular Sunday television address, appearing relaxed and confident as two months of crisis abated.

However, he indicated that a curfew in force for four nights in Bangkok and 23 other provinces could be extended for another two nights.

Squads of workers were out on Bangkok's thoroughfares, completing a campaign to remove tonnes of debris and garbage after Wednesday's offensive on a protest encampment that had paralysed the top shopping district for six weeks.

The security checkpoints, road closures and rolls of razor wire were being scaled back as Thailand prepared to get back to business after the civil unrest that has left 86 dead and 1,900 injured.

Abhisit defended the security authorities' conduct in the final crackdown, which left 36 major buildings torched when enraged militant Reds went on the rampage after their leaders were forced to surrender.

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