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Drones capture dramatic views of Bangkok protests

Flying cameras hover just above whizzing tear gas canisters and water cannon as protesters demand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra step down.

Bangkok protest
Anti-government demonstrators square off against riot police in this drone view of Bangkok street protests. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has tantalized shoppers with the prospect of package delivery by drones in a few years. But flying machines are already delivering dramatic protest footage in Thailand.

Anti-government protesters seeking the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have clashed with security forces in Bangkok, leaving at least three people dead.

Local news outlets are using drones to capture wide-angle aerial views of the protests.

The YouTube videos below show water cannon and tear gas flying toward protesters as a camera-equipped drone whizzes overhead, seemingly very close to the action.

The first video shows the view above a large barricade erected on a bridge outside of Government House, which contains the offices of the prime minister. Protesters say the Thai leader is controlled by her brother, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2006.

Clouds of tear gas waft over the area as gas canisters shoot back and forth between riot police and demonstrators. At one point the drone gains altitude to avoid water cannon.

The second video shows the same barricade at twilight. Tear gas clouds linger at the scene but police seem to have cleared most of the protesters, which reportedly number some 30,000 at eight sites in the city.

The drone then moves down Phitsanulok Road to where a large group of protesters is milling about.

The prime minster, meanwhile, rejected protester demands for a "people's council" to replace the government, calling the demonstrations unconstitutional.

No doubt we'll see more drone footage from Bangkok soon.