Cambodian, Thai troops clash on border

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010

Cambodian and Thai troops exchanged fire briefly on their border on Saturday - the latest in a series of clashes between the neighbours, officials from both countries said.

The shoot-out on Cambodia's northwestern border lasted for about 15 minutes, but there were no reports of casualties, Cambodian defence ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat told AFP.

"While our troops were patrolling the border, the Thai soldiers opened fire at them. So our troops fired back," he said.

He said troops from both sides fired rockets and grenades as well as rifles, but calm returned after a meeting between Cambodian and Thai military commanders in the area.

The Thai military confirmed the shoot-out.

"It was a misunderstanding and nobody was injured in the clash," said a Thai army officer who asked not to be named.

Cambodia and Thailand have been locked in nationalist tensions and a troop standoff at their disputed border since July 2008, when Cambodia's 11th century Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

The latest skirmish was in a different area to the temple, which has been the focus of deadly clashes between the two armies in the past.

Relations deteriorated further in November after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra as his economic adviser and refused to extradite him to Thailand.


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