WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday urged Thailand and Cambodia to exercise "maximum restraint" in their fresh border conflict.
"We are closely following events on the Thailand-Cambodia border" after reports of an armed confrontation between security forces of the two Southeast Asian states, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement.
"The United States urges both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take all necessary steps to reduce tensions and avoid further conflict," the statement added.
Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged heavy fire on the border on Friday over the disputed ancient Preah Vihear temple. The Cambodian troops have arrested five to six Thai soldiers.
The conflict was the latest in a long-festering dispute over the cliff-top Preah Vihear temple.