Monday, 2 May 2011

Cambodian, Thai sporadic clashes reach 11th day

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia said Monday that Thai troops had opened fire at its troops and territory at the 13th century Ta Krabei temple and Ta Mon temple in Oddar Meanchey province from Sunday night through Monday morning, marking the 11 straight days of deadly clashes.

"From 10:15 p.m. on Sunday night until 5:00 a.m. early Monday, Thai troops had thrown grenades at the areas of Ta Krabei temple and Ta Mon temple," Major General Seak Socheat, deputy commander of the front-battle region 3, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday morning. "Beside grenades, they had occasionally fired small guns at the two temples throughout the night."

"We just used small arms to fight back for a while in the fighting in early Monday in order to prevent their infantrymen to enter our territory," he added.

No casualty was reported in this sporadic clashes.

Cambodian and Thai troops have exchanged gunfire over the border disputed areas since April 22. The fighting had killed at least nine Cambodian soldiers, seven Thai soldiers and one Thai civilian, and forced some 100,000 villagers of both sides to flee homes for safe shelters. Both side blamed the other for the fighting over the past days.

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 square kilometers (1.8 square miles) 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 the deaths of troops on both sides.

Editor: Wang Guanqun

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