New fighting breaks out at Preah Vihear border

A small firefight broke out between Thai and Cambodian forces near the Preah Vihear border, reportedly when Thai troops encroached onto Cambodian territory. No casualties were reported, and both sides have moved quickly to the discussion table.

Thai Army Rangers clash with Cambodian troops near Preah Vihear temple
MCOT News, 24 January 2010

Khmer and Thai troops clash at border near temple
DPA, via The Nation 24 January 2010

Cambodia, Thai troops clash
AP, via Straits Times, 24 January 2010

Cambodia reports clash with Thai troops on border
AA, via Jakarta Post 24 January 2010

Thai Army Rangers clashed early Sunday with a unit of Cambodian soldiers near the disputed 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, a senior Thai army officer said. No casualties were reported.

Lt-Col Nut Sri-in, commander of Suranaree Task Force Unit 163, said the fighting took place while a group of Thai rangers were patrolling and confronted Cambodian soldiers who were felling trees in Kantharalak district bordering Cambodia.

As the Rangers shouted at the Cambodian soldiers asking their purpose in crossing over to the area, the Cambodian soldiers fired M79 grenades and automatic rifles at them, Col Nut said.

The troops exchanged gunfire for over 20 minutes before the Cambodian soldiers withdrew into Cambodia, he said, adding that senior Thai and Cambodian officers would hold talks to prevent similar clashes from occurring in future.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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