BANGKOK, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Three airports in southern Thailand were shut down Friday because of vandalism by protesters.
Rail service has also been disrupted with about 30 percent of the lines closed by strikers, the British newspaper The Independent said.
Officials said that Phuket International, Krabi and Hat Yai would be closed indefinitely, the Thai News Agency reported.
In Bangkok, officials denied using tear gas on a crowd who rallied outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters Friday evening, TNA reported. But many in the crowd suffered eye irritation.
Thousands of people this week have demanded the ouster of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and the coalition government. But he said Friday he does not plan a crack down on the People's Alliance for Democracy, which is leading the protests.
"I have several tools at my disposal, but I am not using any of them because I want to keep things calm," he told reporters. "I will not quit. If you want me out, do it by law, not by force. This is embarrassing in front of the world."
Nearly 300 Bangkok police officers were trapped inside the prime minister's compound, which was occupied by members of the PAD.
''It's like we are in prison. It has bought great shame on us that police have been detained by the protesters,'' a police sergeant-major told the Bangkok Post.