HOPE FOR TALKS

BANGKOK - An anti-government protest leader said the movement was ready to negotiate with Thailand's government to end a deadly crisis, but only if troops were immediately withdrawn from Bangkok's streets.

BANGKOK - An anti-government protest leader said the movement was ready to negotiate with Thailand's government to end a deadly crisis, but only if troops were immediately withdrawn from Bangkok's streets.

Nattawut Saikua said yesterday the red shirts' only other condition to enter into dialogue was for representatives of the UN to moderate talks.

"We have no other condition. We do not want any more losses," he told supporters at the main protest site.

"We want the UN to moderate it because we do not trust anyone else. There is no group in Thailand that is neutral enough."

Thailand's military said yesterday a curfew would not be imposed in parts of Bangkok because the night time restrictions were not yet required.

"It's not necessary to use such measures yet, because we fear that the adverse impact on the public would outweigh the benefit," Lieutenant-General Aksara Kerdphon said.

The government had earlier said a night-time curfew would be imposed in some parts of Bangkok.

Two Thai anti-government "Red Shirt" demonstrators were shot yesterday during fresh clashes in Bangkok, an AFP photographer said.

On a road close to the protesters' main base, two men were shot and badly wounded as several hundred demonstrators confronted troops, he said.

The pair were among the protesters throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at the troops. - Reuters

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