Home > Local News > Thai, Cambodian Soldiers Clash in Fresh Border Skirmish

Thai, Cambodian Soldiers Clash in Fresh Border Skirmish

Thai and Cambodian authorities say fresh fighting broke out between
their soldiers, with each side once again blaming the other. The new
skirmish came shortly after the United Nations Security Council urged
the two countries to impose a ceasefire around the disputed border,
which saw heavy fighting earlier this month.
A Cambodian military policeman stands watch during the ground breaking
ceremony of a Chinese funded road at Koun Damrey village, Banteay
Meanchey province, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) east of Cambodia’s
border with Thailand, February 15, 2011.
The Thai military
on Tuesday said Cambodian soldiers in the early morning attacked a
border post, injuring five soldiers – one of them seriously.

Thai
military spokesman Colonel Werachon Sukondhapatipak said at least one
grenade was thrown at the post and Thai soldiers fired back with
rifles. He said they were expecting attacks after the United Nations
Security Council declined Cambodia’s request to send peacekeeping
troops to the area.

“Last night from 10:30, I mean in the evening, to 5:20 in the morning, 11 grenades have been thrown by Thai (soldiers).”

“We believe that the leadership of the
Cambodia were not happy with that result and they will try to do
anything that [is] provocative in order to have the Thai soldier
retaliate,” said Werachon.

However, Phay Siphan, a spokesman for
Cambodia’s Council of Ministers, denies his country’s troops fired
first. He said Thai soldiers attacked first.

“Last night from
10:30, I mean in the evening, to 5:20 in the morning, 11 grenades have
been thrown by Thai (soldiers),” said Phay.

Phay said no Cambodian soldiers were injured and they did not retaliate.

Fighting
broke out two weeks ago in a disputed border area near a 900-year-old
Khmer Hindu temple called Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Phra Viharn in
Thailand.

Thai and Cambodian militaries exchanged heavy
artillery and machine gun fire, killing several people and sending
thousands fleeing the border.

Both sides blame the other for
starting the fighting. Cambodia wants international help to prevent
further fighting, while Thailand says the issue should be resolved
bilaterally.

On Monday, the foreign ministers of the two
countries met with the United Nations Security Council. The Security
Council urged them to implement a permanent ceasefire and to work with
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to end the dispute.

ASEAN foreign ministers are to discuss the issue next week in Jakarta.

Tensions
first erupted in 2008 when the temple, which is in Cambodia – but with
its main entrance in Thailand – was listed as a U.N. World Heritage
site.

Thai nationalists objected, some of them claiming the
temple is in Thailand, and both sides began building up military forces
in the area, leading to occasional skirmishes.

Source: VOA News
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Categories: Local News
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