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World condemns Bangkok violence, calls for reconciliation

The US led world condemnation of Thai unrest that left six people dead.



Washington: The United States led world condemnation of unrest in Thailand on Wednesday that left at least six people dead while the United Nations called for renewed efforts to end the violence.

Anti-government `red shirt` protesters in Bangkok set more than two dozen buildings ablaze, including the stock exchange, in an upsurge of violence that prompted authorities to declare a curfew across about a third of the country.

Washington said it was "deeply concerned that `Red Shirt` supporters have engaged in arson, targeting electricity infrastructure and media outlets and have attacked individual journalists," said State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid.

"And we condemn such behaviour and call on (their) leaders and affiliated opposition politicians to urge their supporters to stop such acts."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also expressed concern about the mounting level of violence and demanded efforts to end the crisis peacefully.

"He continues to urge that every measure be taken by both the Thai authorities and protesters to avoid any further violence and loss of life and to address issues peacefully," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The European Union insisted that reconciliation between the parties was no longer just an option.

"Thailand enters now a period where national reconciliation is not simply an option, it is absolutely mandatory," EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said in a statement.

"Too much blood has been spilled on the streets of Bangkok," said Buzek. "I hope that the violent confrontation between governmental forces and protesters is finally approaching an end."

Brazil expressed solidarity with the "Thai nation" and said it hoped the situation would rapidly return to normal.

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said she was "deeply preoccupied by the situation in Thailand" and urged "all parties, the government and the protesters, to show the greatest restraint in this very tense situation".

The minister also called for "negotiations to begin as soon as possible so as to put an end to the troubles," and to address Thailand`s "fundamental problems”.

Denmark has closed its embassy in the capital since Sunday and staff have been transferred to a hotel outside the danger zone. Other embassies have also closed.

"It is too insecure," Sweden`s ambassador to Thailand told Swedish news agency TT, as he announced its embassy would shut on Thursday "due to the security situation”.

The Scandinavian country meanwhile said it was extending its advice against all but essential travel to Bangkok, announced on April 23, indefinitely.

PTI

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