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Next peace talks between Thailand, insurgents likely postponed

BANGKOK, April 9 (Xinhua) — The next round of the continuing peace dialogue between the Thai authorities and some Muslim insurgent leaders, set for April 29, will possibly be postponed, a high-ranking Thai security official said Tuesday, Thai News Agency reported.

National Security Council (NSC) Secretary General Paradorn Pattanathabut said the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur will be the venue of the talks, but Malaysia’s general election is scheduled for later this month.

“It might be inconvenient to meet on the set date. We are waiting for a confirmation from Malaysian officials,” Thai News Agency quoted Gen Paradorn as saying.

The first round of talk was also held in Kuala Lumpur as the Malaysian authority helped facilitating the meeting.

He stressed that the peace process will carry on despite ongoing violence in Thailand’s deep South but admitted that the escalating unrest has a negative impact on the talks.

He said security forces in the southern border provinces have been placed on high alert in light of increasing attacks by insurgents.

More than 5,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 hurt in over 11,000 incidents, about 3.5 incidents a day, in Thailand’s Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated three southern border provinces — Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla — since violence erupted in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the regional violence.


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