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A Thai official says a leader of the opposition Red Shirt movement has proposed a truce with the government to end five days of deadly street battles in Bangkok between security forces and demonstrators.
Thai government negotiator Korbsak Sabhavasu says Red Shirt representative Nattawut Saikuwa called him on his cell phone Monday to make the truce offer.
Korbsak says he told the Red Shirt leader that Thai troops will not fire any more bullets if militant protesters return to their encampment in Bangkok's main commercial district.
Thai troops have been fighting with militants who spilled out of the protest zone into surrounding streets since Thursday. The violence has killed 36 people, including an army general who had been working with the Red Shirts.
Major General Khattiya Sawasdiphol died of his wounds Monday after being shot in the head Thursday in the protest zone by a sniper.
Another 232 people have been wounded.
Thai military aircraft dropped leaflets over the Red Shirts' encampment Monday, warning them to evacuate by 3:00 p.m. (0800 UTC) local time or face two years in prison. But an estimated 5,000 Red Shirts remained at the site that they have been occupying since mid-March.
Earlier Monday, Red Shirt leaders said they were ready to negotiate with the government if it appoints a neutral body to oversee the talks and pulls back the troops. The protesters dropped a call for the United Nations to mediate in the crisis, a demand the government rejected.
Thai troops have encircled the protest zone and cut off supplies to pressure the Red Shirts into leaving. But the troops allowed Red Cross workers to enter the area to provide humanitarian aid to women and children sheltering in a Buddhist temple.
The Red Shirts want early elections to replace a government they see as illegitimate and elitist. Many of them are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted by the military in a 2006 coup and now living in exile.