The leader of the world's largest Muslim organization has warned Thai officials that using military force to try to end the unrest in Thailand's south will only make the extremists stronger.

The chairman of the Indonesia-based Nahdlatul Ulama, Hasyim Muzadi, gave the warning in Bangkok where he is meeting with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and King Bhumibol Adulyadej on ways to end the unrest.

Mr. Thaksin and Mr. Muzadi agreed that improved education in the south will help boost living standards and end economic problems that contribute to violence.

Later this week, Mr. Muzadi will travel to Thailand's three Muslim-majority southern provinces to meet Muslim leaders and leading Thai Buddhist monks.

More than 650 people have been killed in separatist violence in southern Thailand since the beginning of 2004.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.