Cambodian soldiers have brought women and children to the border, using them as a human shield against Thai forces, according to a report by the 2nd Army's Suranaree Task Force.
The task forcereport said that about a week before the latest series of border clashes began in Surin on Friday, Cambodian soldiers started to move civilian families - mostly women and children - into seven spots:
1. 5 families to Sam Tae area;
2. 15 families to Ta Thao pass and Hill 400, where a military base is located;
3. 7 families to a community at the foot of the staircase to the Preah Vihear temple;
4. 8 families to a military base at Phu Makhua;
5. One family to the Phra Phalai pass;
6. 985 families to the Sa-ngam pass; and
7. 20 families to the Tamaria stream.
A source at the Suranaree Task Force said Cambodia is using the human shields to prevent Thai attacks. If casualties are inflicted on these civilians, Cambodia could protest or condemn Thailand internationally, to raise the Thai-Cambodian conflict to the world forum.
The source claimed as many as 22 Cambodian soldiers were killed and 80 wounded in heavy fighting on Sunday. One of the dead was a colonel and son of a former Khmer Rouge leader.
About 30 Cambodian soldiers were killed in the clashes on Friday and 10 on Saturday, according to the source.
Thai soldiers suffered five killed - three on Friday, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, the source said.