* Three people killed in street clashes in Bangkok
* PM Yingluck able to get out of attacked police complex
* Police fire teargas near prime minister's office
* Protesters aim to topple the government
(Adds statement from government, quotes)
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre
BANGKOK, Dec 1 About 30,000 protesters launched
a "people's coup" on Thailand's government on Sunday, swarming
state agencies in violent clashes, taking control of a state
broadcaster and forcing the prime minister to flee a police
But after a day of skirmishes between protesters hurling
stones and petrol bombs against riot police firing back with
teargas, the demonstrators failed to breach heavily barricaded
Government House, office of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"They haven't seized a single place," National Security
Council Chief Paradorn Pattanathabutr told Reuters. "They go to
different places and they go back out."
The protesters sowed chaos in one of Southeast Asia's
biggest cities, breaching a police line, seizing seven police
trucks, and forcing Yingluck to move to an undisclosed location
from a building where she had planned to give media interviews.
Small fires burned from petrol bombs that landed by police
trucks. Protesters pulled at barbed-wire barricades as others
washed teargas from their eyes with bottled water.
It is the latest dramatic turn in a conflict pitting
Bangkok's urban middle class and royalist elite against the
mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her billionaire
brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister ousted in a
2006 military coup.
The deep detonation of stun grenades, followed by the jeers
of protesters, echoed across the historic government quarter,
not far from the Khao San Road tourist area, after a chaotic
night of gun and knife battles in east Bangkok in which three
people were killed and at least 58 wounded.
Hospitals reported 46 people injured on Sunday.
Police spokesman Piya Utayo said troops would forcibly
dislodge protesters who have occupied a government complex since
Thursday and the Finance Ministry since Monday.
The government urged people in Bangkok, a metropolis of 10
million, to stay indoors from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
"We ask people to not leave their homes for their safety so
they will not become a victim of provocateurs," Deputy Prime
Minister Pracha Promnok said in a televised address.
Earlier, Reuters journalists waiting to interview Yingluck
in the police Narcotics Suppression Bureau were told by an aide
she had left after protesters made it inside the outer compound
of the Police Sports Club, where the bureau is located.
"Because of safety reasons we cannot disclose her location,"
Noppadom Pattama, Thaksin's lawyer, later told Reuters. Thaksin
had urged the government to show restraint, he added. "The
government must be the bigger person in this scenario."
Protesters massed in front of a police barricade outside Wat
Benjamabhopit, also known as the Marble Temple. Police fired
teargas as some tried to heave aside concrete barriers.
"I just want the people named Shinawatra to get on a plane
and go somewhere - and please, don't come back," said Chatuporn
Tirawongkusol, 33, whose family runs a Bangkok restaurant.
Outside the Metropolitan Police Bureau, about 3,000
protesters rallied, accusing riot-clad police of being
manipulated by Thaksin, a former policeman who rose to become a
telecommunications magnate before entering politics and winning
back-to-back elections in 2001 and 2005.
The area around Government House was a scene of nearly
non-stop skirmishes, as police fired teargas into a
stone-throwing crowd chanting "Slaves! Slaves!" A Reuters
photographer saw protesters hurl at least a dozen petrol bombs
into police positions from Rajamangala University of Technology
Phra Nakhorn across a canal from Government House.
There was a mixture of anger and anxiety among protesters
occupying the university. Some wheeled garbage bins full of
stones to hurl at police, while others worried about a
late-night operation to clear the campus by force.
"It's not safe here," said Sumittra, 40, a government
official who didn't want her full name used. "We don't know when
they will attack us."
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban urged government workers to
go on strike on Monday and called on television stations to stop
broadcasting state news.
"We invite all Thais to join us and defend democracy," he
said in a speech televised live on all almost every station,
including state-owned Thai PBS which agreed to broadcast the
speech after protesters surged into its compound.
Capping a week-long bid to topple Yingluck and end her
family's more than decade-long influence over Thai politics,
Suthep had urged supporters to seize government offices,
television stations, police headquarters and the prime
minister's offices in a "people's coup".
Suthep, a deputy prime minister in the previous Democrat-led
government that Yingluck's party beat in a 2011 election, told
supporters they had occupied 12 state agencies and brought a
million people on the streets. Police said about 30,000 people
joined the protest on Sunday, compared with 100,000 a week ago.
Yingluck, who become Thailand's first female prime minister,
has called for talks with the protesters, saying the economy was
at risk after demonstrators occupied the Finance Ministry on
Monday. Suthep has ignored her.
The Democrats, Thailand's oldest political party, have not
won an election in more than two decades and have lost every
national vote for the past 13 years to Thaksin or his allies.
Thailand faces its worst political crisis since unrest in
2010, which ended with a military crackdown. In all, 91 people
were killed then, mostly Thaksin's supporters trying to oust the
then-Democrat government. Suthep faces murder charges for his
alleged role in the ordering crackdown.
Thaksin, who won over poor rural and urban voters with
populist policies, was convicted of graft in 2008. He dismisses
the charges as politically motivated and remains in close touch
with the government from his self-imposed exile, sometimes
holding meetings with Yingluck's cabinet by webcam.
(Additional reporting by Martin Petty, Panarat Thepgumpanat,
Damir Sagolj, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Viparat Jantrapap;
Writing by Jason Szep; Editing by Alan Raybould and Robert