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Hardliner set to command Thai army

Thailand's Prime Minister yesterday approved the military's promotions list, with a hardline opponent of anti-government protesters reportedly taking the army's top post amid fears that political violence could re-ignite.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he has submitted the list for King Bhumibol Adulyadej's endorsement, normally a formality. Two months of demonstrations by so-called Red Shirt protesters earlier this year left about 90 people dead and more than 1,400 hurt.

The Red Shirts, mostly supporters of the former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, were demanding that Mr Abhisit, whom they accuse of coming to power illegitimately, call early elections. Details of such appointments are not officially released until after the royal endorsement. But, according to local media in Bangkok, General Prayuth Chan-ocha will become army commander.