Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Talks cancelled as Thailand-Cambodia clashes continue

Thousands of villagers have been displaced by the border fighting

via CAAI

27 April 2011

Troops from Thailand and Cambodia have exchanged fire again along their disputed border, as the death toll from six days of conflict rose to 14.

The fighting took place near the Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples, where most of the clashes have taken place.

A Thai spokesmen said a Thai villager was killed by rocket fire on Tuesday.

Each side has accused the other of starting the conflict. Plans for ministerial-level talks today on the dispute were cancelled by Thailand.

"We decided last night to cancel (Defence Minister) Gen Prawit's trip to Phnom Penh today after some Cambodia media reported Thailand agreed to ceasefire talks after it admitted defeat and losses," said army spokesman Col Sunsern Kaewkumnerd.

Parts of the Thai-Cambodian border have never been formally demarcated, causing continuing tensions and firing nationalist sentiment in both countries.

There has been sporadic fighting in recent years. Clashes took place three years ago in the run-up to a general election in Cambodia, and this latest outbreak of violence comes with the Thai government due to call an election in coming weeks.

The renewed fighting began on Friday, near two disputed temples that lie in a jungle area that both sides claim.

On Tuesday clashes were also reported 160km (100 miles) further east at the hill-top temple of Preah Vihear, a flashpoint for the dispute.

Cambodian officials said Wednesday's fighting began in the early morning and continued for several hours.

Thousands of villagers have been displaced by the fighting, in which eight Cambodian and five Thai soldiers have been killed.

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