Thailand’s army has declared martial law, deploying troops in the heart of Bangkok before dawn in an attempt to end months of political turmoil and violence that has claimed 28 lives to date.

The army’s commander, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the military had stepped in to restore order, and invited both sides of the kingdom’s bitter political divide to talks.

“We ask all sides to come and talk to find a way out for the country,” Prayuth told reporters after meeting directors of government agencies and other high-ranking officials.

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