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Thai govt says army crackdown will continue

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says there is no reason for the army to withdraw since "authorities are not using weapons to crack down on civilians."

world Updated: May 16, 2010 18:28 IST

Thailand's government says a crackdown on Red Shirt protesters will continue despite their plea for UN-mediated talks.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says there is no reason for the army to withdraw since "authorities are not using weapons to crack down on civilians."

The government maintains it is only targeting armed "terrorists" among the Red Shirts.

Panitan says groups that use weapons and threaten security forces must "stop their actions immediately."

Earlier on Sunday, the Red Shirt leadership said it would negotiate with the Thai government provided the army ends its crackdown.

At least 25 people have died in clashes between anti-government protesters and troops since Thursday.