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Thai PM faces charges amid violence

Thailand's embattled premier will be charged with neglect of duty, anti-graft officials said yesterday, as clashes between the police and opposition protesters left four dead and dozens wounded in central Bangkok.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission said that if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is found guilty of the accusations - which relate to a controversial rice subsidy scheme - she could be removed from office.

The announcement came hours after gunfire and explosions shook an area of the city's historic district, just a short walk away from major tourist attractions, as riot police moved to clear sites of protest rallies.

A policeman was shot dead and three civilians were killed, according to the Erawan emergency centre, while 64 others were injured. The police said 24 of its officers were among those hurt.

It was unclear who fired the fatal shots but a government spokesman said the police used only rubber bullets and not live ammunition.

The protesters have staged more than three months of mass street rallies demanding Ms Yingluck's resignation, occupying major state buildings and preventing civil servants going to work.