Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cambodian and Thai soldiers clash again

For the second consecutive day, the Cambodian and Thai soldiers have exchanged gunfire along the border between the two countries.
At least one Thai soldier was killed and four injured.
Thai and Cambodian authorities accuse each other of being behind the clashes, which lasted about an hour.
Friday, two people were killed in fighting near the disputed territory near the Preah Vihear temple. The exchange of fire lasted two hours.
This confrontation is one of the most serious in recent years between the two countries.
Tensions have risen in recent days by the pressure exerted by powerful Thai nationalist groups, who staged protests in Bangkok to demand that the government claims the disputed territory.
The temple of Preah Vihear, built in the eleventh century by the Khmer Empire, is claimed for decades by both Thailand and Cambodia. In 1963 the World Court ruled in favor of Cambodia, without deciding on a bush area of 4.6 square miles located near the ruins of the temple. This sector has since that time a source of contention between the two countries.
The United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have called for calm after clashes on Friday. They urged both parties to start negotiations.
Bangkok said that 3,000 civilians had been evacuated from the area.

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