PHNOM PENH, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The number of Cambodian villagers evacuated from the latest rounds of armed clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops over border disputed areas since Friday last week has increased to 34,000 people, said a senior government official on Thursday.
As of Thursday morning, about 34,000 Cambodians have fled their homes for safe shelters following the bloodshed fightings between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border areas, Nhim Vanda, the first vice-president of the Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management, told Xinhua by telephone on Thursday.
"Most of them are women, children and elderly people," he said. "Now clean water and sanitary facilities are posing a concern for them."
In addition, 67 schools, with about 1,600 students, have been closed, he added.
Cambodian and Thai troops have exchanged gunfire for seven straight days over the border areas at the 11th century Ta Moan temple and Ta Krabei temple, which lie 150 kilometers west of Preah Vihear Temple.
The fighting has killed at least eight Cambodian and six Thai soldiers, and one Thai civilian, and several dozens injured.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated.
Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. But Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 sq km of scrub next to the temple. Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand had a border conflict, triggering a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in deaths on both sides.
Editor: Xiong Tong