Military detains former Thai Prime Minister

Deposed leader among 155 political figures rounded up by military

Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been detained by the military junta that seized power in a coup, a source in her Puea Thai party says.

"We are unsure of her whereabouts because the military confiscated her mobile phones and those of her aides," said the source, who had served in Shinawatra's government.

Shinawatra was removed from office in a controversial court ruling earlier this month that set the stage for the military takeover announced on Thursday by army chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

She was among 155 prominent figures from both sides of Thailand's bitter political divide who the army has said were summoned, which also included her successor, now-deposed caretaker premier Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan.

Most of those summoned appear to have been Puea Thai members or prominent supporters.

They were also banned from leaving the country, a step analysts said appeared aimed at averting formation of a government-in-exile.

Shinawatra reported to a Bangkok army facility on Friday morning.

The Bangkok Post quoted military and other sources as saying she was subsequently taken to another unspecified army installation.

Shinawatra's aide said on Friday the former premier was thought to have been taken to a military camp outside the capital.

A spokesman for Thailand's coup leaders says the army will detain Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders for up to a week to give them "time to think".

Deputy army spokesman Colonel Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said Saturday that Shinawatra and dozens of other political figures have had their phones confiscated. He would not reveal their location.

The move appears aimed at preventing any political leaders from contacting supporters to rally them against the coup.

The military seized power on Thursday after two days of peace talks in which neither political faction would agree to step aside. The junta says it acted to prevent more turmoil after months of sometimes violent street protests and deadlock between the elected government and protesters supported by Thailand's elite establishment.

Thailand's all-powerful army chief started the talks by asking participants to report on their ideas for solving a crisis so complex it has split the Southeast Asian nation for nearly a decade, but two hours later, just after 4.30pm Thursday, the room was sealed by soldiers and General Prayuth Chan-ocha became Thailand's new ruler.

The sequence of events raises questions about whether the meeting was a ruse to neutralise opposition to the coup.

Half an hour later, Prayuth appeared on TV flanked by heads of the armed forces and police, to say the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council was in charge.

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