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Cambodian, Thai armed clashes force 5,000 Cambodian villagers flee home

English.news.cn   2011-04-23 19:24:25 FeedbackPrintRSS

PHNOM PENH, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Two straight days of armed clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops over the disputed border areas have forced 1,420 Cambodian families to flee their home for safe shelter, said a senior government official on Saturday.

As of Saturday at 4:00 p.m., 1,420 families with 5,000 people have been evacuated to a safe shelter in Banteay Meanchey province' s Samrong district, some 30 kilometers from the fighting zone, Nhim Vanda, the first vice-president of the Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management, said on Saturday.

The two straight days of armed clashes on Friday and Saturday broke out at the Ta Mon Thom temple and Ta Krabey temple in Oddar Meanchey province, left troops on both sides killed and injured, the temples were in damage and villagers' properties were destroyed.

In the villages near the fighting areas, Cambodian soldiers have found shrapnel and craters resulted from the artillery shelling by Thai troops during the clashes.

Cambodia's Ministry of Defense on Saturday afternoon issued a statement to condemn Thailand for its "repeated deliberate acts of aggression against Cambodia."

"Thai side used DK 75 and 105 mm heavy guns loaded with poisonous gas in today's (April 23, 2011) assault," it said. "Thai military aircraft, including reconnaissance planes flew deep into Cambodia's airspace."

"Heavy weapons, including 130 mm, 105 mm and 155 mm artilleries have also been used during this latest military onslaught," the statement said.

The latest military clashes between the two countries'troops reoccurred just more than two months after the deadly clash on Feb. 4-7 at the border disputed area next to the Preah Vihear temple, a World Heritage Site.

Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand have had a border conflict due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, triggering a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, as current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), strongly called for the immediate cessation of hostilities between Cambodia and Thailand that recommenced since April 22, a press statement said on Saturday.

"Indonesia also calls for the two sides to continue to resolve their differences through peaceful means as has been reflected in addressing the border dispute between the two countries," said Kusuma Habir, a spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry.

She said that Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa is in communication with his Cambodian and Thailand counterparts to address this latest development.

Editor: Yang Lina
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