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Thailand's escalating crisis: In pictures

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May has been explosive for Thailand. The country's six-month-old political crisis, which has seen the ousting of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, attacks on anti-government protesters and the imposition of martial law, reached new heights: a coup d'etat.

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha announced in a televised address late Thursday that military forces were taking control of the government, ordering rival protesters to leave Bangkok and imposing a nationwide curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Many media channels have been censored following the announcement, including CNBC.

While the country is no stranger to army takeovers -19 coups have been attempted since 1932- experts told CNBC this coup posed particular worry.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank, told CNBC that "[Thailand's] political allies need to agree that the country must be governed and ruled in agreement of both the system and the mechanism to elect leaders that can restore trust to their people."

Kristie Kenny, U.S. ambassador to Thailand said that the coup posed a serious concern to U.S.-Thai relations, economically and in terms of security. Over the last 24 hours, a number of countries, including Singapore and the U.K., have issued warnings against traveling to the popular tourist hotspot.

Take a look at this month's images from the country's political crisis.

-Posted May 23, 2014.