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Thailand holds peace talks with Muslim insurgents

Published on Aug 16, 2012 8:34 PM
 
Thai police officers inspect the wreckage of a car following a car bomb attack at a police station car park in Thailand's restive southern province of Pattani on Aug 16, 2012. No one was injured in the blast. Thailand said on Thursday talks were under way with members of insurgent groups in the south of the country, where thousands of people have been killed since 2004 in violence blamed on Muslim separatists. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand said on Thursday talks were under way with members of insurgent groups in the south of the country, where thousands of people have been killed since 2004 in violence blamed on Muslim separatists.

The government has ruled out peace talks in the past, most recently in April, but Mr Yutthasak Sasiprapa, a deputy prime minister in charge of security in the south, confirmed there had been a change of heart.

"Right now we are holding peace talks with different insurgent groups but we are still not clear what they want," he told reporters.

The Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, a government agency in charge of security operations in the south, said talks were being held with current and former members of groups active in the region after a spike in violence in the three southernmost provinces bordering Malaysia.

 
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