Thai security chief insists on continued talks with southern insurgents despite attacks

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BANGKOK, June 24 – A high-ranking Thai security official insists that peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) militant group must carry on despite continued attacks in Thailand’s far South.

Paradorn Pattanatabut, National Security Council (NSC) secretary general, referred to two weekend bombings in Pattana and Yala in which military personnel were killed or wounded.

He said the Thai authorities were awaiting the BRN’s temporary peace plan for the three southern border provinces for the holy month of Ramadan to determine if it can really reduce violence in the Muslim predominant region.

The plan should be submitted to the Thai government a week ahead of Ramadan which falls on July 9 and ends August 7, he said.

“If attacks continue during the fasting month, we have to know if they are done by BRN factions or other militant groups. However, talks must go on as we have to communicate (with them),” he said.

The NSC chief said it is likely that pre-Ramadan attacks especially on government forces will intensify but the situation should improve as Muslim people enter the religious fasting ritual.