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Pattaya Daily News

05 February 2011 :: 15:02:44 pm 49834

One Thai soldier killed, four wounded in fresh fighting at Cambodia border

BANGKOK, 5th February 2011 -- One Thai soldier was killed and four others wounded in fresh fighting between Thai and Cambodian soldiers early Saturday, a Royal Thai Army spokesman said.
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Spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the clash broke out at about 6.20am and lasted half-an-hour near the disputed ancient Preah Vihear temple, killing a Thai soldier and wounding four others.

Col Sansern said the fighting erupted at three different places near the disputed border.

Attempts were made to halt the bloody fighting as Lt Gen Tawatchai Samutsakorn, Second Army Area commander responsible for security in northeastern Thailand, held talks with Cambodia’s Fourth Army commander Lt Gen Chea Mon at about 9 am.

Details of the talks were still unavailable.

Thai army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha had ordered soldiers stationed in the area to remain on full alert and to return fire if Cambodian troops started shooting again, said Col Sansern.

Renewed gunfights broke out just hours after Cambodian and Thai troops battled for two hours Friday along the disputed stretch of their border, trading artillery fire.

Col Sansern said earlier that one Thai villager was killed and four Thai troops slightly injured in Friday’s battle. In Cambodia, the Associated Press (AP) reported that privately owned Bayon TV stated one Cambodian soldier was killed and five were wounded.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong reportedly told reporters on Friday that Cambodian forces had captured four Thai soldiers, a claim denied by Bangkok.

Meamwhile the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry on Saturday issued a statement clarifying clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops on Friday.

The statement said Cambodian troops opened fire at a Thai military base at Phu Ma Khua in Thai territory using mortars, rocket propelled grenades and recoilless rifles.

On the same day, Cambodian troops also opened fire from the area of Phrea Vihear temple at a Thai military base at Pha Mor I Dang in Thai territory.

In between the two incidents, several artillery shells were also fired by Cambodian troops into Phum Srol village in Si Sa Ket province of Thailand located around five kilometres away from the border area.

The incidents led to one Thai civilian casualty, six injured military personnel and severe damage to seven civilian houses. Moreover, 3,000 civilians residing along the border area had to be evacuated.

The statement said the attack carried out by the Cambodian troops constituted an act of aggression and a clear violation of the Thai sovereignty and territorial integrity. Thai troops were left with no choice but to exercise the inherent right of self-defence in accordance with international law.

While Thailand reaffirms its commitment to resolve boundary dispute through peaceful means, it reserves its legitimate right to defend its sovereignty.

Report by : MCOT online news

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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