American travelers considering "non-essential" trips to Thailand should cancel their plans following Thursday's military coup and ongoing unrest in the country, the U.S. State Department advised on Friday.
U.S. citizens who are currently in Thailand, and especially Bangkok, were warned by the State Department to stay alert and avoid protest sites and areas where demonstrations are held.
"Although many protest activities have been peaceful, violent incidents involving guns and explosive devices have occurred at or near protest sites," a statement from the State Department said. "Some have resulted in injury or death."
On Thursday, the Royal Thai Army seized control of the county's government following six months of protests against the ruling Pheu Thai party. The army also imposed a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m., banned political gatherings and limited media outlets' reporting.
Bangkok is a major tourist hub, but the coup and violence will likely ward off visitors. The State Department said its travel alert stands "until further notice."
Travelers already within the country do not need to adhere to the Army's curfew if they are going to the airport, but may need to provide proof of identity to authorities in the form of passports and tickets, the State Department alert said.
— Elisha Fieldstadt and Catherine Chomiak
RUNGROJ YONGRIT / EPA
A foreign tourist couple walks behind a Thai soldier guarding in a street in Bangkok, Thailand, May 21, 2014.
First published May 23 2014, 3:08 PM