Fighting at Preah Vihear leaves fatalities and casualties

The most recent fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops at Preah Vihear have resulted in fatalities and casualties, although different reports provide conflicting news about how many people died and were injured on both sides. Both sides seem to ancknowledge that the fights were results of misunderstandings rather than intentional hostilities.

Cambodia-Thailand border clash leaves three dead
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 03 April 2009

Thailand shuts tourist spots after fatal clashes
Bangkok Post, 04 April 2009

Thai soldiers killed as border temple battles flare
The Independent, 04 April 2009

Cambodian and Thai troops fought heavy gunbattles on their disputed border Friday as months of tensions boiled over, leaving three soldiers dead just days before a key regional summit.

Soldiers traded rocket, machine-gun and mortar fire near an 11th-century Khmer temple on the frontier, following a brief exchange of shots earlier in the day, officials from both sides said.

The same area was the scene of several clashes last year after the Preah Vihear temple was granted United Nations world heritage status, with four soldiers killed in a battle in October.

“We are fighting with each other, it is serious gunfire. Two of our soldiers have been killed,” Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said. “The gunfire is continuing in at least two areas,” he added.

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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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