Thai PM denounces Bhutto's assassination

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Bangkok, Dec 28 (UNI) Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont today condemned the killing of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto at an election rally in her country yesterday.

''I regret that such an extreme violent incident occurred in Pakistan,'' the head of Thailand's post-coup government told reporters here.

The Thai government was sending condolences to the government of Pakistan, he said.

Mr Surayud said such incidents were unlikely to happen in Thailand, in an apparent reference to the impending return of his predecessor who was ousted in the military takeover in Bangkok 15 months ago.

Thai national police chief Police General Sereepisuth Temeeyaves also assured that ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would be assured full safety when he returns to Thailand.

''Mr Thaksin's safety will be assured. The Thai police won't allow such a violent incident to happen here,'' he said.

Mr Thaksin, living in self-imposed exile in London since the military coup, has said he would return to restore democracy in the country after the political party backed by him won the most seats in the December 23 election.

UNI

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