Pattaya Daily News

15 October 2008 :: 16:10:35 pm 41152

Thai and Cambodian Troops Exchange Fire at Disputed Border Area

SI SA KET, Oct 15 - Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchanged gunfire on Wednesday afternoon at about 3pm on the border area near Preah Vihear temple.
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One Thai paramilitary ranger was reportedly injured by shrapnel in his torso.

According to a TNA reporter observing with police and other government personnel at Phu Makhua, about one kilometre west of Preah Vihear, reported hearing machine gunfire from the firefight. Thai troop reinforcements quickly arrived at the clash site. Local authorities warned residents in Kataralak district?s border areas to brace for immediate evacuation.

The fighting occurred one day after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced an ultimatum to Thailand to withdraw its troops from a 4.6 square kilometre disputed area near the ancient Preah Vihear temple by midday Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said that although no violence has been reported against Thai nationals, the ministry advises Thai citizens who have no need to stay to leave Cambodia. Thailand is ready to evacuate Thais to return home immediately. (TNA)

Related news from Yahoo:

Fighting has broken out between Thai and Cambodian soldiers along a disputed stretch of the countries’ border.

Soldiers from both sides exchanged rocket and gunfire yesterday near the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple that both Thailand and Cambodia claim, according to the Reuters news agency. The temple sits atop a cliff in the Dangrek mountains.

“I heard gunfire all over the place in this area,” said Chor Sokunthea, a Reuters photographer.

“One rocket flew from Thailand over my head and landed. Now you can hear the fighting. They’ve opened fire. I have to find a safe place to hide.”

Thailand sent more soldiers to the disputed stretch of the border, a Thai general said yesterday, within hours of a Cambodian general saying Thai troops had pulled back.

On Monday, the Cambodian prime minister, Hun Sen, threatened to turn the area into a “death zone” unless the Thais retreated by midday yesterday.

The Thai military said it was ready for war and the foreign ministry told Thais to “think twice” before visiting Cambodia. Five years ago, a nationalist mob torched the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh over an argument about another ancient Hindu temple.

Tensions between the two countries have been high since July, when 2,000 soldiers faced off a few metres apart in trenches dug into a hillside that until 10 years ago was under the control of remnants of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot’s guerrilla army.

The dispute centres on 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub near the temple, which the international court of justice awarded to Cambodia in 1962 – a ruling that has rankled in Thailand ever since.

The dispute flared up in July after protesters trying to overthrow the Thai government attacked Bangkok’s backing of Phnom Penh’s bid to list the Hindu ruins as a world heritage site.
source from here

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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