The marches appeared to be a way to maintain momentum amid a decline in the number of protesters who have blocked key intersections in Bangkok for four days now in an attempt to shut down the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Yingluck's opponents, mostly from the urban middle and upper classes, claim she is carrying on the practices of her billionaire brother by using the family fortune and state funds to influence voters and cement her grip on power.

But she has widespread support among Thailand's poor majority in the countryside because of the populist policies carried out by her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid being imprisoned on a corruption conviction.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Wednesday night urged followers to march to offices of the Revenue Department, noting that other government agencies had already been forced by the protesters' sieges to move to temporary premises or allow employees to work at home.

Throngs of whistle-blowing demonstrators marched to surround three branches of the Revenue Department and asked officials inside to leave the buildings.

The demonstrators also targeted the Public Health Ministry and Public Works Department. Another group led by a Buddhist monk claimed to be headed to the office of the Department of Special Investigation, Thailand's FBI.

The protests this week have been mostly peaceful, although there have been random acts of violence including gunshots in the middle of the night at protest venues.

Overnight, a small explosive device was hurled into the residence of protest leader Issara Somchai Issara, damaging part of a motorcycle in the garage, according to Police Col Pong Sangmurin.


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