Cold border standoff turns hot October 4, 2008Posted by chandrapong007 in Cambodia.
Written by By Thet Sambath and Brendan Brady/ The Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian and Thai troops suffered injuries during an exchange of gunfire Friday afternoon near Preah Vihear temple, in the first real military fighting of the prolonged border standoff, say Cambodian officials.
“One Cambodian was shot in the arm, and we believe one or two Thai soldiers were injured,” according to Yim Phim, the commander of brigade 43, which is stationed in the area.
He said the incident started at around 3:00pm when about a dozen Thai soldiers approached a Cambodian army encampment at Phnom Troap, just a couple kilometres from the World-Heritage listed temple, and demanded troops there leave.
“They showed them a Thai-made map and told the Cambodians to get off the land. An argument went on for a while,” said Yim Phim. “The Thais then withdrew about ten meters and started firing.”
“Thai soldiers first fired an M-79 (grenade launcher), and Cambodians shot back with a B-40 (grenade launcher). Then both sides fired with machine guns,” he said.
He said the Thai soldiers withdrew across the border after dark, around 5:30, while the Cambodian soldiers remained in their original position.
“In that area, soldiers from both countries used to stay close to each other, but the situation has changed and now everyone is on high alert.”