Thai, Cambodian troops clash near temple

04 April 2009, Saturday

Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchanged rocket and rifle fire on a disputed stretch of their border on Friday, killing one Thai in the latest flare-up of an ancient feud over a 900-year-old Hindu temple.

Both sides accused each other of firing first in two separate clashes near the Preah Vihear temple, which is claimed by both Southeast Asian nations and saw an armed standoff last year. One Thai soldier died from a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Cambodian troops when fighting resumed after midday talks between the border commanders failed. Seven Thai soldiers were also wounded in the second battle, Wiboonsak Neepan, commander of Thailand’s Second Army, told Reuters. In Phnom Penh, Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said he had received reports of two Cambodian soldiers killed in the initial fighting this morning, but it was not confirmed. Cambodian officials claimed two Thais died in the morning clash. Thailand said no one was hurt then and it planned to lodge a formal protest with the Cambodian government.


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