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Thailand's Military Vows to Restore Order in Capital


THAILAND -POLITICS: Thailand's military chief vowed Monday to restore order in Bangkok as rioting by anti-government protesters escalates.
In a television address, General Songkitti Jaggabatara said the military would use all possible means to restore order to the capital. However, he said troops would use weapons only in self-defense.
Thai police and troops fired warning shots into the air and sprayed crowds with water cannons Monday, as they clashed with protesters who charged security lines with hijacked buses and lobbed gasoline bombs.
Violence has been escalating since Sunday, when ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra urged his followers to carry out a revolution.
Officials say at least 68 people have been injured.

SOMALIA-PIRATES : U.S. Navy officials say three Somali pirates were shot and killed because it was believed their hostage, American cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, was in imminent danger.
Vice Admiral William Gortney of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet told reporters late Sunday that elite special forces snipers shot the hijackers after they pointed AK-47 rifles at Phillips. Three pirates were killed. A fourth was taken into custody.
Gortney said U.S. President Barack Obama had authorized commanders to use force if they believed Phillips was in danger.

KOREAS-TENSIONS: Seoul criticized North Korea Monday for refusing to grant access to a detained South Korean, and threatened unspecified retaliation unless Pyongyang reverses its position.
The North detained the male employee March 30th at the Seoul-funded industrial site of Kaesong just inside North Korea. He was accused of criticizing the Pyongyang government and trying to persuade a local woman to defect. North Korea has refused to let Seoul representatives visit him.
A South Korean Unification Ministry spokeswoman (Lee Jong-joo) told reporters in Seoul Monday that the North's behavior is unfair and inhumane.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan security forces are following the president's call for a two-day cease-fire to give tens of thousands of trapped civilians a chance to leave the fighting.
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered a two-day suspension of military operations against Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday. He asked the army to only carry out operations of "a defensive nature"
during the Sri Lankan New Year Monday and Tuesday.

POLAND-FIRE: Polish fire officials say the death toll from a blaze in a homeless shelter in the country's northwest has risen to at least 21 people. Another 20 have been injured.
Poland's prime minister has traveled to the scene, while the president has announced a period of national mourning beginning at midnight.
Authorities say the fire broke out late Sunday in a building in Kamien Pomorski that houses at least 77 people.

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