Home > Local News > Thais hurt in landmine blast [Cambodians accused of ‘expanding presence’]

Thais hurt in landmine blast [Cambodians accused of ‘expanding presence’]

SI SA KET : Two Thai soldiers have been seriously injured after
stepping on landmines while patrolling Phu Ma Khua along the Cambodian
border.
Cambodians build a concrete road to Preah Vihear temple to help troop
movements in the disputed area near Phu Ma Khua. Thailand opposes the
construction of the road. JETJARAS NA RANONG
The incident occurred about 4pm yesterday.
The two were later identified as Sgt Pornpiboon Ngaosuwan and Cpl
Sumet Boonsalee of the 16th Infantry Battalion in Yasothon province.
They have been admitted to Kantharalak district hospital in Si Sa Ket province.
Cambodian troops are ignoring Asean’s urgent call for a truce with
Thailand by continuing to fire shots in the disputed border area.
Cambodian soldiers yesterday fired three shots in the area where
they are trying to expand their presence before the arrival of
Indonesian observers today.
The Bangkok Post accompanied Thai soldiers to the
4.6-square-kilometre disputed area in Si Sa Ket yesterday morning to
observe the military presence. The delegation found Cambodia actively
expanding its military bases and bunkers in the disputed area after the
outbreak of hostilities from Feb 4 to 7.
Cambodian soldiers have also turned Keo Sikha Kiri Savara pagoda
into a military base equipped with anti-aircraft artillery in breach of
the bilateral 2000 memorandum of understanding on land demarcation that
prohibits any man-made physical changes in the disputed area.
An army source said Cambodian deputy army chief Hun Manet, son of
Prime Minister Hun Sen, had told Thai army chief-of-staff Dapong
Rattanasuwan and 2nd Army chief Thawatchai Samutsakhon last Saturday
that the pagoda would only be repaired as a residence for monks.
The pagoda was partly damaged during the recent border clashes.
Cambodian soldiers have built facilities to support reinforcements
on the disputed part of Phu Ma Khua. They have ignored repeated
protests from the Thai soldiers overlooking them from the hill top.
Cambodian soldiers are also building two new roads from Keo Sikha
Kiri Savara to Phu Ma Khua in a bid to occupy as much of the disputed
area as possible.
“Cambodia will not readily stop because they want to advance and
occupy as many parts as possible before soldiers and observers arrive
from Indonesia,” the source said.
There have been a number of clashes between Thai and Cambodian
troops at Phu Ma Khua. Cambodian soldiers attacked a Thai base on the
hill on Feb 5 and seriously injured a soldier who later succumbed to
his injuries.
While this reporter was taking photographs of Keo Sikha Kiri Savara
yesterday, Cambodian soldiers fired two warning shots from the pagoda
and another from Phu Ma Khua. Thai soldiers and the reporter then left
the area. If the third shot had come from the pagoda, there would have
been another clash, the source said.
A truce agreed between the military leaders of the two countries
last week would not be honoured as Cambodian soldiers were poorly
disciplined and had proved they would not hesitate in firing on Thai
soldiers in their own territory, he said.

 Bangkok Post
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Categories: Local News
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