Home > Local News > Fighting breaks out between Thai and Cambodian troops (1st Lead)

Fighting breaks out between Thai and Cambodian troops (1st Lead)

Thai Soldiers

Bangkok/Phnom Penh – The Thai military said
Friday that Cambodian forces had fired artillery rounds into Thailand
near Preah Vihear temple on the joint border, while the Cambodian side
blamed Thai troops.

Thai radio reports said an estimated 20 shells landed on Thailand’s
side of the border in Kantalarak district in Si Sa Ket province, 350
kilometres east of Bangkok.

‘We can confirm that there has
been a clash, but we are still checking the details,’ said army
spokesman Colonel Sansern Keowkhamnerd.

The Thai army was
reportedly bulldozing a road in the border area, which has been the
subject of numerous spats over the past two and a half years.

A spokesman for the Cambodian government blamed fighting on Thai troops.

Phay Siphan claimed Thai soldiers had crossed 500 metres into Cambodian
territory and opened fire despite the efforts of Cambodian troops to
avoid violence.

He said fighting had begun at 3 pm (0800 GMT) and was ongoing more than an hour later.

Phay Siphan said fighting was underway near Keo Sikha Kirisvara temple, which Thailand claims stands on disputed territory.
There was no word on casualties.

Bangkok recently insisted that Cambodia remove a flag flying over the
temple, a demand that Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong rejected
earlier on Friday after a meeting with his Thai counterpart.

The clashes come hours after Hor Namhong and Thai Foreign Minister
Kasit Piromya wrapped up a meeting stating that a recent build-up of
troops would not lead to violence.

Thai and Cambodian forces
have faced off along the mountain range around the 11th-century Preah
Vihear temple since July 2008, when UNESCO declared the edifice a World
Heritage Site despite Thai objections.

Although the World
Court in 1962 ruled that the temple belonged to Cambodia, Thailand
claims a 4.6-square-kilometre plot of land adjacent to the temple, and
has blocked Cambodian’s efforts to turn the site into a tourism
attraction until the border dispute is settled.

The m&c News

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Categories: Local News
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