Democracy in Thailand will resolve insurgency: US

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Last Updated 10/05/2007, 17:28:37

The United States is continuing to push Thailand’s military junta to
keep its promise of holding democratic elections, saying it is critical
to ending the insurgency in the south of the country.

Washington suspended military aid and negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement after the military coup last September.

A senior Pentagon official in charge of Southeast Asian affairs says only a fair and legitimate government can defeat terrorism.

He was speaking at the first Bangkok-sponsored forum in Washington on Thailand since the coup.

Bangkok has rejected a US offer to help train Thai military forces to quell the revolt.

Washington is worried the insurgency will be a breeding ground for al Qaeda.

Latest violence

Two Muslim men have been shot overnight in drive-by shootings in Thailand’s south.

Police say in a separate incident, two soldiers were wounded by a bomb aimed at their convoy.

The soliders were protecting a group of Buddhist monks on their morning rounds to collect alms.

This latest violence follows a roadside bombing on Wednesday, in which seven soldiers were killed.

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