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Muslim rebels welcome military overthrow of Thai PM

Muslim rebels in Thailand have welcomed the overthrow of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a military coup earlier this week.

Lukman Lima, an exiled leader of one of several Islamic groups fighting for independence in the south of the predominantly Buddhist country, said today that he hoped the move could help resolve the uprising.

The coup was led by General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, who is himself a Muslim.

Mr Lima says the general is the "only one who knows the real problems" of the Muslim majority provinces in southern Thailand.

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