Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said yesterday that he had asked the country's junta leader to lift martial law in some areas of the kingdom.
Surayud told reporters the final decision on lifting martial law -- imposed after the Sept. 19 coup that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra -- had to be made by coup leader Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
However, he urged Sonthi to clearly state when martial law would be lifted.
"I already discussed with the Council for National Security leader how long martial law would remain [in effect], and Sonthi said he will take that into consideration," Surayud said.
"I think, in some areas, martial law could be lifted," he added.
Speaking after the government's weekly cabinet meeting, Surayud said he thought the situation in some areas of the country allowed for the lifting of martial law.
"I only suggested the principle but the exact time or which areas are considered safe will be decided by the CNS leader," he said.
Meanwhile, suspected insurgents yesterday fatally shot a village volunteer guard and his wife and torched a school, the fifth to be attacked in four days in Thailand's restive south, police said.
The community guard and his wife were riding on a motorcycle in Pattani Province when a gunman on a passing motorcycle opened fire with an assault rifle, killing them both.