Thailand agrees to talks with southern Muslim rebels

KUALA LUMPUR - Thailand's government agreed on Thursday to start talks with a major Muslim rebel group, marking a breakthrough in efforts to end a worsening conflict in the country's south that has claimed over 5,000 lives since 2004.
The agreement, signed in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, by senior Thai security officials and members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) group, opens the way for the first formal peace talks with rebels in the south.
The document launches a "dialogue process" for peace in the southern border provinces.
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