Troops from Thailand, Cambodia in border clash

Troops from Thailand, Cambodia in border clash
# 22 April 2011 04:30 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. A long-running border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia flared anew Friday, with troops from the two Southeast Asian countries exchanging fire along their disputed frontier, security officials from both nations said, APA reports quoting website.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the clash, the first between Thailand and Cambodia since four straight days of artillery duels and gunfire erupted in February at the 11th century Preah Vihear temple, killing at least eight people.

Thai Army Spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd told The Associated Press the latest skirmishes erupted after dawn and continued for at least half an hour. Cambodian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat confirmed the fighting and said it took place about 155 miles (250 kilometers) west of Preah Vihear.

Chhum said the fighting took place at another temple in Ta Krabey that is also claimed by both nations. He said both sides had used rocket launchers, machine guns and rifles.

It was unclear what sparked the latest fighting.

The conflict is rooted in a decades-old border dispute over ancient temples and the land surrounding them, which has fueled nationalist passions on both sides.

Tensions between the neighbors have been exacerbated in recent months in part by pressure from powerful Thai nationalist groups, which have staged protests in Bangkok urging the government to reclaim the land.

Clashes have erupted several times since 2008, when Preah Vihear was given U.N. World Heritage status.
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