Phra Dhammajayo search: Thai monks clash with police

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image copyrightEPA
image captionThe clashes broke out as monks and temple devotees defied police orders and continued to gather at the temple north of Bangkok on Monday.
image copyrightAP
image captionThe stand-off began on Thursday when police launched a search for the temple's former abbot, Phra Dhammajayo, who is wanted for alleged money-laundering.
image copyrightAP
image captionIt prompted thousands of devotees to show up in defence of the abbot, in scenes similar to a 2016 stand-off when police attempted a search.
image copyrightEPA
image captionSome monks were injured in Monday's scuffles and were led away for treatment. No major injuries have been reported so far.
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image captionMass prayer sessions were conducted outside the temple. The temple's followers are known for their intense devotion, and the group has often been compared to charismatic cults.
image copyrightAP
image captionThousands of police and soldiers surrounded the site on Sunday. The military had sealed off roads leading to and from the temple and put the entire area under their control.
image copyrightReuters
image captionOfficers so far have failed to locate the abbot while searching the 4 sq km (1.5 sq mile) compound, which is nearly 10 times the size of the Vatican
image copyrightEPA
image captionOne of Thailand's largest and wealthiest temples, the Dhammakaya temple is known for its giant golden dome resembling a flying saucer.

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