BANGKOK: Hundreds of Thai opposition protesters entered the government headquarters unopposed Tuesday, after police said they would offer no resistance to the demonstrators who have vowed to topple the prime minister.
Authorities have lifted barriers to allow demonstrators into the compound "in order to reduce tensions between protesters and the police", Krisana Pattanacharoen, a police official, said in a televised address.
An AFP reporter at the scene described a carnival atmosphere, as protesters poured into the compound blowing whistles, sitting on the manicured lawns and posing for pictures, as tensions eased sharply in the capital after two days of unrest.
Some 20 police and soldiers were visible at the door of one of the buildings within the headquarters, in a dramatic reduction of security for the symbolic seat of government power.
The move comes after police announced they would no longer protect the building, which they had defended with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon on Monday.