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In pictures: Anti-government demonstrations set aside as Thailand celebrates King's birthday


Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, granted an audience and gave a short speech at his Palace compound in Hua Hin, where hundreds of senior politicians, military officials and civil servants gathered to mark the monarch's 86th birthday.

The King called for unity on his birthday, which falls at a time of intense political conflict in Bangkok, where anti-government protesters have been besieging government offices  in an effort to topple prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government and rid Thai politics of the influence of her elder brother, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

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