Thailand prepares for large anti-government protests

Thailand will deploy almost 17,000 officers to prevent violence at an anti-government rally slated to be held this weekend

Authorities will do so after the government invoked a special security law, saying democracy was under threat.

The rally could herald another period of unrest in Thailand, which has seen frequent bloody street protests in recent years.

At least 50,000 protesters are expected to gather near parliament in the capital, Bangkok, tomorrow.

The government's decision to invoke the Internal Security Act in the area of the protest site will allow the police to ban gatherings at sensitive government locations

It also gives police officers more power to arrest people on public order grounds.

The group behind the protest, Pitak Siam, is led by retired general Boon-lert Kaew-pra-sit.

It says Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra is heading a puppet government controlled by her brother, ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra