More fighting on Thai-Cambodia border
Phnom Penh - A border clash between troops
from Cambodia and Thailand resumed on Saturday, a day after at least six
soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians were forced to evacuate the
The fighting springs from decades-old
competing claims over small swaths of land along the border, with nationalistic
politics fueling tensions. Clashes have erupted several times since 2008, when
Cambodia's 11th century Preah Vihear temple on the border was given UN World
Heritage status over Thai objections.
Friday's fighting was the first reported
since four days of fighting in February, when eight soldiers and civilians were
killed near the Preah Vihear temple, about 160km east of the new flare-up.
Cambodian government spokesperson Phay Siphan
said fighting resumed at about 06:00 on Saturday at the same three locations
where troops from both countries battled for several hours the previous day
with artillery and small arms.
Wachira Kitphan, an official in Thailand's
Phanom Dong Rak district, said both sides engaged in an artillery duel until
about 08:00 on Saturday.
Cambodian officials said that in addition to
skirmishes Friday near the ancient temples of Ta Krabey and Ta Moan and a third
point, artillery fell on villages and other areas as far as 21km inside its
Each side blamed the other for the resumption
Thai army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel
Siriya Khuangsirikul said three Thai soldiers were killed on Friday and 13 were
wounded, one critically. Cambodian defencee spokesperson Lieutenant General Chhum Socheat
said three Cambodian soldiers were killed and six wounded.
No reports of casualties from Saturday's
clash were immediately available.
Cambodia's Bayon TV, which has close links to
the government, showed footage on Friday night of damaged houses and civilians
being evacuated by farm vehicles to schools and Buddhist pagodas 50km from the
A statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry
of Thailand said the country had "exercised its inherent right of
self-defence on the basis of necessity, proportionality and strictly directed
at military targets from where the attacks were launched by Cambodian troops".
Associated Press writer Thanyarat Doksone in
Bangkok contributed to this report.