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Gunman Captured at Thai Parliament

May 22, 2002

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BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A man dressed as a Buddhist monk was arrested Wednesday after storming Thailand’s parliament with an assault rifle, taking about 30 hostages and demanding to speak with the prime minister.

Police captured the assailant following a one-hour standoff, during which he fired into the air once. No one was injured.

``I am demanding to talk with Prime Minister Thaksin (Shinawatra) to lodge a complaint about my unjust treatment when I was arrested by the local police,″ the man, who identified himself as Sayan Chitasuro, said through a megaphone before his arrest.

The violence came minutes before the 500-member elected lower house was set to debate a no-confidence motion against 15 individual cabinet members.

In a lengthy speech though a mobile phone to reporters, the man said he was arrested in 1996 for trespassing in a national park.

The man, who claimed to be from Chan Buri province bordering Cambodia, said he had come to parliament to hand a petition to the president of the parliament and to see the prime minister.

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