In what is being described as a "people's coup" in Thailand, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has reportedly been forced to flee to an undisclosed location as thousands of anti-government protesters stormed government buildings in the capital Bangkok.
The protesters broke into a police sports club compound, where Shinawatra was present on Sunday morning (1 December). Her security guards quickly moved her to a secret location. Government officials have denied she has left the country.
Troops have been deployed in Bangkok to quell the protests which have entered their eighth day. More than 30,000 people are protesting across the city, demanding that the government step down.
Local reports suggest the anti-government protesters have taken control of the broadcaster, Thai PBS. Opposition leaders are said to be attempting to use the channel to deliver an anti-government address.
Police personnel are using tear gas and water cannons against the protesters, who have attempted to break into government buildings.
Two protesters have been killed, one of them shot, during the clashes. Dozens of others have been injured in overnight gun and knife skirmishes.
The anti-government campaign had until Sunday been largely peaceful, but the situation worsened after the opposition groups declared an all-out assault on the government declaring "V-Day" for their "people's coup".
"I just want the people named Shinawatra to get on a plane and go somewhere - and please, don't come back to our country again," 33-year old Chatuporn Tirawongkusol told Reuters.
"We have sent forces to these places to take back government property," police spokesperson Piya Utayo said in a televised address.
The protests were set off by a controversial amnesty bill which might have allowed the prime minister's brother and former leader Thaksin Shinawatra to return from his self-imposed exile.
Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in 2006 and the ruling prime minister is accused of running the government as his proxy, leading to the biggest protests in Thailand since 2010.