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Pattaya Daily News

13 July 2012 :: 18:07:37 pm 64841

Cambodian Soldiers Shoot At Bangkok Airways Passenger Airplane

A Bangkok Airways passenger flight to Cambodia was fired at 18 times by Cambodian soldiers at the border when it flew near sensitive airspace in rainy weather. No one was injured, and the aircraft later landed safely. Both governments have accepted the incident as a misunderstanding.
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On July 12, 2012 International media reported that Cambodian soldiers shot at a Thai passenger airplane that flew into the disputed border area of Thai-Cambodia, after the soldiers mistakenly believed it was an espionage plane.

Col. Sirijan Ngathong, Deputy Spokesman of Thai Military, said that the Cambodian soldiers shot at a Bangkok Airways passenger jet that could not proceed to its destination point, Siemreab airport, because of bad weather. “It was a misunderstanding by Cambodia (soldiers) that thought it was espionage plane and no one got injured from this incident which occurred near Siemreab province” said the Deputy Spokesman of the Military.

Mr. Seng Paerin, the commander soldier of Cambodia, revealed that “at that time it was so dark, we could not see of what type of the plane but this plane flew in circles for several times, so our soldiers shot the plane for 18 times, but could not shoot through the plane because the plane flew in very high level. I thought that if it is a passenger plane, it should not have flown near the border like this, so we suspected that it was espionage plane and had to shoot to protect our air border.”

The Bangkok Airways jet flew in the air border of Cambodia for approximately 10 km. There are differing accounts about the time of the incident, which Cambodia said occurred at 7 p.m. Wednesday, but Thai officials said the incident occurred Thursday morning.

Mr. Sanit Naksuksri, Sakaew provincial governor, said that at 9:20 a.m. on Thursday July 12, the passenger plane of Bangkok Airways, flight Suvarnnabhumi-Siemreab, circled around Siemmreab airport, Seamreab province, Cambodia; but at that time there was heavy rain and the pilot had not received clearing communication to land, so the passenger plane flew in circles several times to wait for the proper weather to land. The plane circled in an area covering 100 km and almost reached Poypait, which is on the east of Amphur Aranyaprathet, Sakaew province. The plane’s proximity made the Cambodian officers at the Cambodia border mistake it for an espionage plane, so they warned the plane three times that they would shoot the plane before firing. Apparently none of the gunshots hit the aircraft, and the plane landed at Seamreab airport with everyone safely aboard.

Mr. Sanit said, “Of the shooting to the plane by Cambodia officers at the border of Cambodia, Poypait, Amphur Ojon, Bantiamianjeui province, Cambodia tried to warn the plane by threatening to shoot at the plane, but at that time it was heavy raining so the Cambodian officers could not communicate with the plane clearly, so it caused a misunderstanding, and from this event there was no impact to the relationship at the border.”

Category : World News

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