In an action they say is “to preserve law and order,” Thailand’s army declared martial law, the BBC reports:

The military, which last took power in 2006, stated that the move which gives the army control of nationwide security was not a coup.

Martial law comes after a long-running political crisis, and months of escalating tensions between the government and the opposition.

Earlier this month a court ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several cabinet ministers to step down.

Earlier today Bloomsberg News reported all the turmoil was taking its toll:

Thailand’s political turmoil is wreaking greater damage on the economy than analysts had estimated, raising the stakes for leaders of the nation’s two main political camps to reach an accommodation.

Gross domestic product shrank 0.6 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, the National Economic & Social Development Board said in Bangkok today, compared to the median estimate for a 0.4 percent expansion in a Bloomberg News survey of 23 analysts.

Thai production and tourism have been damaged by months of unrest, as opponents of ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra mounted public protests and legal challenges that succeeded in removing her from office. Today’s report raises pressure on leaders from both sides to find a settlement, with no election date yet agreed to provide a government with a mandate.