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Thailand- Cambodia Border Dispute.

October 16, 2008 – 10:11 am

THAI and Cambodian soldiers exchanged gunfire across their shared border yesterday in a  battle over a small and remote plot of jungle adjoining an ancient Hindu temple.

At least two Cambodian soldiers were reported to have been killed and five Thais and two Cambodians were injured in the afternoon battle at the mountain-top Preah Vihear temple.
Perched on the top of a 490m cliff, Preah Vihear can be reached far more easily from Thailand than from Cambodia. The territory was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 by the International Court of Justice after lengthy legal arguments, which involved maps produced during Cambodia’s French colonial period. However, one plot of jungle, which measures 1.8 square miles, was never allocated clearly, and it is over this land that the two countries fought.

Each side accused the other of opening fire first and gave a different account of the duration of the battle. Journalists on the Cambodian side of the border reported seeing rocket-propelled grenades fired by the Thais. At least 10 Thai soldiers who were stationed in a pagoda surrendered to the Cambodians.

“We are not the ones who ignited the violence,” Somchai Wongsawat, the Thai Prime Minister, said in the capital Bangkok. “The situation has returned to normal now. It is not serious and I am convinced there will be resolution.”

After the outbreak of fighting military talks were announced, which are scheduled to be held today.

The Situation in Cambodia:

The figthing is concentrated on a very small area on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. Preah Vihear is situated to the north of Cambodia. All inhabitants of this small area have been moved to a safer area and the site is closed to tourists.

Locals in other parts of Cambodia are going about their daily busisness. Flights from Thailand to Cambodia are still running as usual, buses from Bangkok to Poipet are also unnafected by the fighting.

At this stage it is unlikely It for tensions to exculate as  diplomatic talks are being conducted today. This blog will be updated with news about the dispute regularily.

Text for this blog was taken from The Australian. For more information please go to the following sites.,,25197,24505494-2703,00.html,

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