Thailand agrees to talks with southern Muslim rebels

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 Reuters) - Thai government officials agreed on Thursday with a Muslim rebel group to start peace talks, an apparent breakthrough in efforts to end a worsening conflict in the country's south that has claimed over 5,000 lives.

Senior Thai security officials signed a document in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur with members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) group to launch a "dialogue process" for peace in the southern border provinces.

Thai authorities have said that the BRN Coordinate is organising attacks in the south. Previous efforts at peace talks with rebel groups have failed. (Reporting by Siva Sithraputhran; Writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)