Thailand's coup leader says he receives royal endorsement as army warns protesters

BANGKOK – Thailand’s coup leader says the country’s monarchy has officially endorsed him to run the country after the armed forces seized power last week.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said he received the endorsement Monday formalizing his status as head of government at the army headquarters in Bangkok.

Dressed in a white military uniform, Prayuth spoke during his first press conference since Thursday’s coup.

The ceremony came one day after the military junta stiffened warnings to crack down on civilian opposition to its takeover of power.