Cambodian PM says 24 Cambodians killed in border clashes with Thailand since 2008

11:16, June 21, 2011      

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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday said 24 Cambodian people had been killed in four-time armed clashes with Thailand over border conflict since 2008.

Speaking during celebrating the 4th anniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day, the premier said the fighting between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border dispute near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple in October, 2008 and April 2009 had killed 3 Cambodian soldiers, and the clashes on Feb. 4 to 7, 2011 killed 8 Cambodians including 4 soldiers, 2 police and 2 civilians.

Also, the latest clashes from April 22 to May 3 at Ta Mon temple and Ta Krabei temple in Oddar Meanchey province killed other 13 Cambodian soldiers, he said.

"Cambodia is deeply sorry for their deaths in the cause of national defense," said the premier. "We hope that there will be no further armed clashes and Cambodia is trying all its best to seek peaceful solution on Cambodian and Thai border conflict," he said.

Cambodia and Thailand has border conflict just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple.

Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulted in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.

Cambodia raised the issue to the United Nations Security Council in February and the UNSC held the meeting on Feb. 14 and tasked ASEAN to mediate the two countries' border conflict.

On Feb. 22, the ASEAN foreign ministers held a meeting in Jakarta to mediate the conflict. At that time, Cambodia and Thailand agreed to accept Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire on their respective border side, but the deployment was always delayed because Thailand demanded that Cambodian soldiers and locals be withdrawn from the disputed area of 4.6 sq km near the temple first.

Source: Xinhua
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