Feb 7, 2011


Cambodia Reports Fresh Border Clashes With Thailand

  • Feb 7, 2011
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  • Cambodian officials are reporting more fighting between Thai and Cambodian forces Monday in the area around an ancient Hindu temple that has been the focus of repeated clashes since Friday.

    At least five people are reported dead in the fighting, which Cambodia says has collapsed one wing of the 900-year-old World Heritage Site, known as Preah Vihear.

    Several injuries were reported Sunday evening during the fighting, which ended around midnight.  But Cambodian officials said the exchanges resumed early Monday.

    A Thai official was quoted saying Monday's shooting was only small-arms fire.  But journalists and residents in the area reported hearing machine guns and artillery fire.
    The two countries have had sporadic clashes in the area since the temple was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, but the recent fighting has been the most sustained since then.  Cambodia has acknowledged three people killed and Thailand has admitted to two deaths.

    The International Court of Justice awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but the land surrounding it remains in dispute.

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has written to the United Nations seeking an emergency meeting of the Security Council to help end the fighting.  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday in New York he is "deeply concerned" about the situation and called on both sides to exercise "maximum restraint."

    Border tensions have intensified in recent weeks after seven Thais, including a member of parliament and a leader of the nationalist "Yellow Shirt" movement, were arrested in another disputed border area and jailed in Cambodia.  Five of them have been released but two have been handed lengthy prison sentences on espionage charges.

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