Confrontations between protesters and police in central Bangkok have been intensifying ever since the Red Shirt movement expanded their sit-in against the government on Thursday, The New York Times reports. The government suffered a humiliating defeat on Friday, as three Red Shirt leaders escaped from a hotel ringed by police forces—including one who is a famous pop-star turned activist—as the deputy prime minister announced the raid live on television. In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported, protesters took two senior police officers hostage. The protesters have been at it for five weeks now, demanding that the government, which they claim is illegitimate, hold new elections. Last Saturday, 24 people died and hundreds were wounded when the government unsuccessfully attempted to disperse protesters.