Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sporadic clashes still continue between Cambodian, Thai troops

via CAAI   2011-05-01

PHNOM PENH, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia said on Sunday that Thai troops still continue launching mortar shells into Cambodian territory at the 13th century Ta Krabei temple in Oddar Meanchey province throughout Saturday night until Sunday morning.

"Every night, Thai troops open fire at our troops at Ta Krabei temple," Suos Sothea, deputy commander of the artillery unit, told Xinhua by telephone from the battle fields.

"On Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. (local time), they had used weapon M97 to shell at the temple," he said. "Then, occasionally, they continued to fire mortar shells at us at 2:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. this Sunday."

"Cambodian troops had fired back in early Sunday morning in order to defend our territory from the invasion," he said. " However, we had just used small guns to retaliate."

No casualties were reported in this latest sporadic fighting.

Cambodian and Thai troops have exchanged gunfire over the disputed border areas at the two temples since April 22. Both sides blamed the other for the fighting over the past days.

The fightings had killed at least eight Cambodian soldiers, seven Thai soldiers and one Thai civilian, and nearly 100,000 civilians on both sides fled homes for safe shelters.

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 the 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 buildup along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Editor: Chen Zhi

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