BANGKOK - Thai police fired tear gas in clashes with hundreds of protesters in Bangkok on Saturday ahead of a rally seeking to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in the largest demonstration yet against her administration.

The protest highlights tensions that have been simmering since Yingluck's Puea Thai party swept to victory in July 2011 and could herald another period of unrest in Thailand.

Anti-riot police wielding plastic shields fired gas canisters at protesters who tried to climb over cement and barbed wire barriers blocking entry to the rally site. Police said "between 300 and 400 protesters" clashed with police.

At least seven police were wounded and up to 132 protesters arrested in the clash near the United Nations headquarters in Bangkok, a stone's throw away from the main rally site.

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