IBTimes UK

Thailand's military government and Muslim separatists ended their peace talks on Friday with an agreement to meet again after the insurgents denied the responsibility for a series of bombings that took place last month at tourist towns in the country.

The government started peace talks with the insurgents in 2013 under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra but it stopped after the military overthrew her government in 2014.

The insurgency which prevails in the Muslim-majority southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat is quite old. According to the independent monitoring group Deep South Watch, the attacks have claimed lives of more than 6,500 people since 2004.

An insurgent umbrella group, MARA Pattani, involved in the negotiations, said both sides have agreed to discuss more on this. It also added that the group would surely consider the creation of "safety zones" which is proposed by the Thai government.

Meanwhile, General Aksara Kerdphol, the Thai government's lead negotiator, said MARA Pattani denied playing a role in the recent wave of attacks, including the bombings that targeted the tourist towns last month.

"The other party told us they were not responsible for the violence and that they would cooperate with the government in building a peaceful situation," Aksara told Reuters.
In August, a series of bombings killed four Thais and injured many people, including foreigners. The bombings were targeted at tourist spots and the authorities believed that the southern insurgents were responsible for the attacks.

IBTimes UK