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Polls open in tense Thai national election

8:25 PM, Feb 1, 2014   |    comments
Thai anti-government protesters shout and cheer during a rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
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BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand braced for tense nationwide elections, a day after gun battles broke out at a busy Bangkok intersection between government supporters and protesters trying to derail the polls.

Polls opened Sunday at 8 a.m. (0100 GMT) with early indications that dozens of polling stations in Bangkok would not open due to protesters blocking the delivery of ballots.

At least seven people were wounded in Saturday's clashes, including an American photojournalist who was grazed by a bullet in the leg.

The exchange of fire was the latest flare-up in a monthslong campaign by protesters to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's beleaguered government. The turmoil raised the prospect of more violence Sunday.

Protesters say they plan to fill the streets of the Thai capital and prevent voters from reaching polling stations.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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