Cambodian military said that more than 100 Thai soldiers have seized control of the Kingdom's Ta Krabey temple and are refusing to leave, despite the best efforts of some 50 Cambodian soldiers who remain at the site, local media reported Friday.
The Cambodian soldiers, who have controlled the small temple for years, tried to defend the site by shooting in the air but that the Thai soldiers still marched in, Ho Bunthy, deputy commander of Border Military Unit 402, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.
"They dared to enter because they know Cambodian soldiers got the orders not to use violence and shoot," Ho Bunthy said.
The Wednesday night incursion involved around 100 Thai soldiers who had previous tried to prevent Cambodian troops from accessing the temple by cutting down tress and using them to block the entry road, he said.
Ho Bunthy said that before the Thai soldiers entered the temple he ordered 50 Cambodian soldiers to stand in a "fence" formation to try to prevent them from entering but to no avail, adding that the Thais had been eyeing the temple for days.
Meanwhile, Chea Morn, commander of Military Region 4, said thatmilitary commanders on both sides are trying to solve the problem through negotiation.
"We are standing at the temple together now and we will negotiate with Thai military commanders later on," he was quoted as saying.