BANGKOK: Thai opposition protesters seeking to force the prime minister from office said Friday they would abandon most of their rally sites in the capital, ending their self-styled “shutdown” of Bangkok.
The move follows increasingly frequent gunfire and grenade attacks targeting the protest sites, mostly at night.
Attendance at the demonstrations has fallen sharply in recent weeks, with most sites nearly deserted for much of the day and a few thousand people joining the rallies in the evenings.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been under intense pressure to resign following four months of protests.
While the scaling back of the protests is a relief for the embattled premier, she also faces negligence charges linked to a flagship rice subsidy scheme that her critics say is riddled with corruption.
If found guilty she could be removed from office and face a five-year ban from politics.
The demonstrators have occupied several key intersections in the heart of the capital for more than a month, camping out alongside upscale shopping malls and luxury hotels.
Civilian protest guards — many wearing body armour — have searched cars and pedestrians at roadblocks made from tyres and sandbags, to the annoyance of some residents.
From Monday the demonstrators will consolidate into one base in Lumpini Park, their leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced on stage late Friday.