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Thai FM Says Burmese Won't Detain Aung San Suu Kyi Long - 2003-06-06


Thailand's foreign minister says Burma's military rulers have assured him the detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is only temporary.

In Bangkok Thursday, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said he got a letter from his Burmese counterpart, Win Aung, saying Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is being held for her security and safety. Mr. Surakiart said the letter also reaffirmed the Burmese military's commitment to national reconciliation.

That commitment was in doubt after military officials took the pro-democracy leader and several associates into custody last Friday. This followed a clash between pro-military demonstrators and Aung San Suu Kyi's followers in a northern town she was visiting.

In Rangoon Thursday, a U.S. embassy official told the Associated Press that clash was a pre-meditated ambush orchestrated by the military. The unidentified official said far more people died in the clash than the four reported by the government.

There have been widespread reports that Aung San Suu Kyi was injured during the clash. Foreign diplomats and eyewitnesses say she was hurt when a brick or rock was thrown through the windshield of the car in which she was riding. The government denies she was hurt.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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