UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- There is no place for violence when it comes to finding ways to settle political confrontations in Thailand, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
A 5-year-old girl was among those reported dead after unknown gunmen fire on supporters of the opposition People's Democratic Reform Committee last weekend, the Bangkok Post reported.
Thai authorities in January imposed tough security measures in response to mounting pressure on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Her opponents are trying to overthrow the government.
Ban issued a statement through his spokesman's office saying "meaningful dialogue" is the only way to resolve political disputes.
"The secretary-general believes strongly that there should be no place for violence by any side in resolving political differences and disputes," his Sunday statement read.
At least 16 people have been killed and more than 650 have been injured in political clashes since November.
Ban stressed that "armed attacks against protesters" are unacceptable.
Brad Adams, director of Asian programs at the rights organization Human Rights Watch, said in a statement from New York last week clashes between pro- and anti-government elements "have made a bad situation worse."