Thailand and Cambodia clash for second day

Thai and Cambodian troops fired shells and small arms across the countries' border today, killing at least 10 soldiers in a two-day clash.

The fighting with mostly long-distance shelling, resumed about 6am after a nighttime lull and halted by noon, both countries said. Cambodia also accused the Thai army of firing shells with poison gas, an allegation that could not be independently verified and that Thailand rejected.



Yesterday's fighting was the first reported border clash since February, when eight soldiers and civilians were killed near Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple. The new clashes took place about 100 miles west of there.



A Cambodian defense ministry statement Saturday accused Thailand of seeking to seize two ancient temples and said Thai aircraft supported the attacks, including reconnaissance planes that "flew deep into Cambodia's airspace."



The statement also said Thailand had fired 75 and 105 mm shells "loaded with poisonous gas" into Cambodian territory, but did not elaborate.



A Cambodian field commander charged that Thailand used both cluster shells — anti-personnel weapons banned by many countries — and "poison smoke" that caused several soldiers who inhaled it to lose strength in their arms and legs, but did not kill anyone.



Col. Suos Sothea, deputy commander of the artillery unit, said by phone the six rounds of cluster shells had landed in villages about 12 miles inside Cambodia, but caused no casualties since people had already been evacuated.



Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of small grenades or 'bomblets' that scatter over vast areas. Some can lie dormant for decades until disturbed, endangering civilians.



Thailand acknowledged using cluster-type munitions in February's fighting but argued that they were not of the type banned from use by 108 countries under an international treaty. Thailand has not signed the pact but has publicly pledged not to use such weapons.



Col. Tawatchai Samutsakorn, commander of Thailand's 2nd Army Region, denied absolutely that cluster bombs or poison gas had been employed by his forces in the new fighting this week.



Tawatchai said one Thai soldier died today, bringing the two-day casualty toll to four dead and 17 wounded. He said 15,000 civilians had been evacuated from the area of fighting.



Cambodia's Suos Sothea said three soldiers from his country had been killed Saturday, bringing Cambodia two-day death toll to six. He said he could not give an accurate count of the wounded. Six Cambodian soldiers were reported wounded yesterday.



The countries have decades-old competing claims over small swaths of land along the border, with nationalistic politics fueling tensions. Clashes have erupted several times since 2008, when the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple was given UN World Heritage status over Thai objections.



Indonesia, chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has called for an immediate cease-fire and further efforts to resolve the border dispute.



The flare-up comes as the Thai military raises its profile in domestic politics ahead of a general election expected to be held by early July. The army had previously effectively vetoed an agreed-on plan to station Indonesian observers to monitor the border situation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
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: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable