Thai and Cambodia troops clash again near temple

Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchanged on their border fire for a second day today in a brief clash that killed a Thai soldier, the latest flare-up in a long-running feud over land around an 11th-century temple.

Southeast Asia's regional grouping, of which both Thailand and Cambodia are members, said the deteriorating situation was undermining confidence in the region and would affect its economic recovery.



The Thai soldier was killed, and four were wounded, in a two-square-mile disputed area around the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, a jungle-clad escarpment claimed by both countries, said Thai army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd.



The neighbours fought with rocket-propelled grenades and guns for about 25 minutes from 6:15am local time before reaching a ceasefire in the early afternoon and agreeing not to reinforce troops, the spokesman said.



That followed an intense two-hour clash yeseterday in which three Cambodians, including two soldiers, and a Thai villager were killed, the first fatalities in the militarised border area since a Thai soldier was shot dead on 31 January 2010.



Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said one of the Cambodians killed yesterday was a tourist visiting the temple overlooking northern Cambodia. He said 10 Cambodian soldiers were wounded, but there were no fatalities on today.



The United States has urged both sides to show restraint.



The fighting is the latest flare-up in on-again off-again tension between the neighbours and could inflame passions among Thai pro-establishment "yellow shirt" protesters demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva take a tougher line against Cambodia.



The Thai Foreign Ministry accused Cambodia of engaging in "an act of aggression" in "violation of Thai sovereignty and territorial integrity". Cambodia accuses Thailand of invasion and filed a complaint with the UN Security Council.



The Thai government said 3,000 civilians were evacuated during yesterday's fighting.



The clashes come after a Cambodian court on Tuesday handed down jail terms of six and eight years to two Thai activists found guilty of trespassing and spying in the border region, a verdict that has angered some in Thailand.



The temple, known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao Phra Viharn in Thailand, sits on land that forms a natural border and has been a source of tension for generations.



The International Court of Justice awarded it to Cambodia in 1962 but the ruling did not determine the ownership of the scrub next to the ruins, leaving considerable scope for disagreement.



The area is remote with only scattered villages on the Thai side and little development on the Cambodian side.



The secretary-general of the Assocition of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) caled for calm and said both sides must return to negotiations.



"The situation has escalated into open conflict. And that will definitely affect our economic development, confidence in our region, and tourism and prospects for foreign investment, which have just been picking up in light of the world economic recovery," Surin Pitsuwan said in a statement.



Surin, a former Thai foreign minister, said he had been in touch with both sides who he understood welcomed ASEAN mediation.



Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living