Fighting has again broken out along the border between Cambodia and Thailand 0702111
Defense News - Thailand / Cambodia
Monday, February 7, 2011, 19:44 PM
Fighting has again broken out along the border between Cambodia and Thailand.
Fighting has again broken out along the border between Cambodia and Thailand in an area close to the Preah Vihear temple - a UN World Heritage site. The 11th Century Hindu temple belongs to Cambodia under a 1962 international court ruling that is disputed by many Thais.
A Cambodian soldier guards an area near the Preah Vhear temple in Preah Vihear province
Southeast Asia's regional grouping, of which both Thailand and Cambodia are members, said the deteriorating situation was undermining confidence in the region and would affect its economic recovery.
The Thai soldier was killed, and four were wounded, in a 4.6-sq-km (2-sq-mile) disputed area around the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, a jungle-clad escarpment claimed by both countries, said Thai army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
The neighbors fought with rocket-propelled grenades and guns for about 25 minutes from 6:15 a.m. (2315 GMT Friday) before reaching a ceasefire in the early afternoon and agreeing not to reinforce troops, the spokesman said.
That followed an intense two-hour clash on Friday in which three Cambodians, including two soldiers, and a Thai villager were killed, the first fatalities in the militarized border area since a Thai soldier was shot dead on Jan. 31, 2010.
Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said one of the Cambodians killed on Friday was a tourist visiting the temple overlooking northern Cambodia. He said 10 Cambodian soldiers were wounded, but there were no fatalities on Saturday.
The clashes come after a Cambodian court on Tuesday handed down jail terms of six and eight years to two Thai activists found guilty of trespassing and spying in the border region, a verdict that has angered some in Thailand.
The temple, known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao Phra Viharn in Thailand, sits on land that forms a natural border and has been a source of tension for generations.