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Thai coup leader warns against street protests, defends detentions

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Thai police officers and soldiers examine the site where a bomb exploded at a super store in Pattani province, southern Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014 Police say at least nine bombs have exploded in Thailand's restive south, killing two people and wounding dozens. The blasts were in a southern province that is facing an Islamic insurgency. (AP Photo/Sumeth Panpetch)

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Thai police officers and soldiers examine the site where a bomb exploded at a super store in Pattani province, southern Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014 Police say at least nine bombs have exploded in Thailand's restive south, killing two people and wounding dozens. The blasts were in a southern province that is facing an Islamic insurgency. (AP Photo/Sumeth Panpetch)

BANGKOK - The top general in Thailand's ruling junta is warning people not to join anti-coup street protests, saying normal democratic principles cannot be applied at the time.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha on Sunday also defended the detentions of dozens of politicians and activists, most of them associated with the government ousted in Thursday's coup.

According to a statement from deputy military spokesman Col. Winthai Suvaree, detention of up to a week is allowed by law.

The junta says it will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and others in custody for up to a week to give them "time to think" and keep the country calm.

In a chilling move apparently aimed at neutralizing critics and potential opposition, it also ordered dozens of outspoken academics and journalists to report to the military.

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