Thailand's army declared martial law in a surprise announcement before dawn Tuesday (May 20).

In a statement in Bangkok, it said the action has been taken to ensure peace and order after six months of violent political unrest.

Armed troops entered private TV stations in Bangkok to broadcast their message nationwide.

The deadlock in Thailand has worsened since former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the lower house in December, 2013 to ease the crisis. Thailand has been facing severe political crises since Shinawatra and nine of her ministers were dismissed on May 7 for abuse of power.

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