Home > Local News > Fighting flares anew on border [Cambodia says temple damaged by artillery]

Fighting flares anew on border [Cambodia says temple damaged by artillery]

Fresh fighting has erupted along the border with Cambodia in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharalak district, ending a brief ceasefire.
Villagers flee their villages on pickup trucks to escape a fresh round
of border fighting in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket yesterday.
The first shots were fired yesterday in border areas near tambon Phu Pha Mok in Kantharalak about 1.30pm.
The fighting included artillery fire and shots from small firearms
and lasted about 15 minutes. No deaths or injuries were reported.
A more severe exchange began at 6.30pm and lasted until about
9.40pm, with heavy artillery fire being exchanged between Cambodian and
Thai troops centred on Don-aow village in tambon Rung, Kantharalak,
near Preah Vihear temple.
The Cambodian government said the 11th-century Hindu temple was damaged in the firefight.
”A wing of our Preah Vihear temple has collapsed as a direct result
of the Thai artillery bombardment,” said a military commander in a
statement released by Phnom Penh last night.
Several communities on Thai soil were also damaged by artillery
shells and at least 12 people were injured, including two civilians.
An injured soldier is being treated by medics as he arrives from the border clash spots.
Ambulances were seen rushing in and out of the area to take injured people to hospital.
Several petrol stations in Kantharalak switched off their lights to avoid being targeted by Cambodia troops.
Many residents evacuated Kantharalak, causing traffic congestion in the district.
Locals said they feared flames from artillery fire by Thai troops
during the night would be visible to Cambodian troops, enabling
Cambodian soldiers to pinpoint the Thai positions.
A military unit commander stationed near the disputed area told the
Bangkok Post Cambodian soldiers launched rocket-propelled grenades and
several artillery rounds at Thai military camps at Don-aow pass and at
homes in Don-aow and Phum Saron villages.
”They were trying to take over Don-aow pass [which lies in the
4.6-square-kilometre disputed area near Preah Vihear], an important
strategic route,” the commander said.
”Cambodian forces have fired artillery rounds that have landed
close to Thai positions,” Gen Pol Vey, commander of Cambodia’s
front-line forces, was quoted by the Associated Press as telling Deum
Ampil Radio.
He also claimed his troops had secured important strategic locations.
Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd denied the claim and said the Thai side had fired only in retaliation.
”Cambodian troops started firing into Thai territory and we fired
back,” he said. ”We retaliated and gave them what they deserved.”
Source: Bangkok Post
Categories: Local News
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