Cambodian, Thai military commanders meet

Updated: 2011-02-06 15:03


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Cambodian, Thai military commanders meet
Cambodian soldiers load ammunition near Preah Vihear temple after a brief clash with Thai troops early February 5, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

PREAH VIHEAR, Cambodia - Cambodian and Thai military commanders on Sunday morning (10:40 am) began the second round of negotiations over border dispute near a 11th century temple amid military tension.

The negotiation, held at the archway to Preah Vihear temple, was attended by Cambodian Major General Srey Doek, commander of Military Division 3 and Lt Gen Thawatchai Samutsakorn, commander of Thai Army Region 2 in a bid to find ways to defuse tension after the deadly clashes on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning at the disputed border areas near Preah Vihear Temple.

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During the skirmishes, troops from both sides had exchanged fire of heavy weapons including rockets, machine guns and mortars, artillery.

Four-star general Chea Dara, deputy commander-in-chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in charge of Preah Vihear region, said that during the two clashes, Cambodian troops had killed 32 Thai troops instantly on the battle field.

While on the Cambodian side, two Cambodians were killed (one soldier and one tourist), and 20 were wounded by shrapnel, he added.

Cambodia has already sent an official letter to the United Nations Security Council on Saturday to complain about the invasions of Thai troops into Cambodia on Friday and Saturday.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of Preah Vihear temple has been an age-old dispute.

Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand have had border conflict due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, triggering a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.



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