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Thai PM Visits Restive South As Violence Persists


Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has reiterated his support for a peaceful solution to an ongoing insurgency in the country's southern provinces as he visits the region.

In an interview with Thai television on Wednesday, General Surayud said his government will continue its efforts to end a three-year insurgency that has left more than 2,000 people dead.

The prime minister also met with at least 26 former insurgent leaders during his two-day visit.

Violence continued Wednesday in Narathiwat province, where a Muslim rubber tapper and a Buddhist man were shot to death in separate incidents. In Pattani, a village chief was shot to death in his backyard.

Authorities attribute the ongoing violence in the Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani to Islamist militants who complain about the treatment of Muslims by the Buddhist-dominated government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.