Monday, 7 February 2011

Tourist killed in border clash

via CAAI

By South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel

A local tourist has been killed at a disputed border temple where there has been fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops over the past four days.

The Cambodian government says the World Heritage ruin has been extensively damaged after being hit by around 100 shells which it says came from Thai troops.

The Thai military has accused the Cambodian army of firing the first shots in the skirmish, which began on Friday.

However, Cambodia claims the Thai soldiers provoked them by moving into an agreed demilitarised zone around the temple.

The temple has been declared Cambodian, but its ownership and the demarcation of the border around it are disputed by Thai nationalists.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says both sides should respect a ceasefire agreement and exercise maximum restraint.

She says Australia continues to urge Thailand and Cambodia to resolve the dispute peacefully through dialogue and to take all necessary steps to reduce tensions and avoid further conflict.
The Cambodian tourist was apparently killed while photographing the disputed Preah Vihear Temple on the Cambodian side of the border.

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