More border clashes threaten temples in Cambodia

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The Independent Online

Thai and Cambodian troops fought with short-range rockets and guns near the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple yesterday, opening a second front in a five-day confrontation that has killed 13 people.

The fighting raised concerns that hostilities had spread 93 miles east of two other ancient Hindu temples where Thai and Cambodian troops have clashed sporadically since Friday, sending more than 50,000 people into evacuation shelters.

The Thai regional army spokesman Prawit Hukaew said Cambodia fired rockets after two Thai F-16 jets patrolled the area, but he described the clash as "minor". Sovereignty over the three ancient temples – Preah Vihear, Ta Moan and Ta Krabey – and the jungle of the Dangrek Mountains around them has been in dispute since the withdrawal of the French from Cambodia in the 1950s. Hostilities have been mostly near Ta Moan and Ta Krabey.