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Thailand eyes peace talks with insurgents 'soon'

Published on Feb 27, 2013 1:48 PM
 
Members of a Thai rescue team carry a blast victim after a bomb was detonated by suspected separatist militants at the clock tower intersection in Pattani town on Feb 17, 2013. Thailand wants to hold peace talks with militant groups behind the insurgency in the south "soon". -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand wants to hold peace talks with militant groups behind a festering insurgency in the south "soon", the head of the kingdom's highest security body said on Wednesday.

The comments come amid a recent spike in attacks in the Muslim-majority south bordering Malaysia and ahead of a meeting between Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak on Thursday.

The pair will discuss the nine-year insurgency, which has claimed more than 5,500 lives, and the possibility of Malaysia hosting talks with the militants.

"I hope that talks will happen soon," said Lieutenant-General Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary-general of Thailand's National Security Council (NSC), who will join Ms Yingluck in this week's talks in Kuala Lumpur.

 
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