The announcement was made on Thai television, after no compromise could be agreed in discussions between leaders from the country's two political factions.
In order for the situation to return to normal quickly and for society to love and be at peace again ... and to reform the political, economic and social structure, the military needs to take control of power.
A 10pm to 5am curfew has been declared, and the constitution suspended. Only military-approved broadcasts are being shown on Thai TV.
Anti- and pro-government protest camps have also been cleared, with reports suggesting the majority of demonstrators left peacefully.
The coup comes following six months of political turmoil, as metropolitan supporters of the royalist establishment became increasingly polarized from the usually poorer, rural supporters of the powerful Shinawatra family.
This act will have negative implications for the U.S.-Thai relationship, especially for our relationship with the Thai military. We are reviewing our military and other assistance and engagements, consistent with U.S. law.