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Cambodia withdraws more troops from border with Thailand

(Xinhua)

09:09, August 19, 2011

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Thursday has pulled out more troops from disputed border area with Thailand, said the spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.

Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat said the redeployment or reduction of the Cambodian troops was made from the area of Ta Moan and Ta Krebey temples, about 150 km west of Preah Vihear temple.

The troops in the area pulled back to their base in Anlong Veng district, Oddar Meanchey province, he said, declining to disclose the number of troops allowed to return to their barracks.

Chhum Socheat said the troop redeployment was made at the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen after the border tension has eased since Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory in the general election on July 3.

It was the third time that Cambodia withdrew troops from the border with Thailand, however, the troops were back from areas outside the provisional demilitarized zone defined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s order on July 18.

Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples are the second fighting spot after Preah Vihear Temple.

The two countries' troops exchanged gunfire at the two temples from April 22 to May 3, costing dozens of lives on both sides' troops and civilians and forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee for safe shelter.

The ICJ awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962. The conflict between Cambodia and Thailand broke out just a week after Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

Thailand claims the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple.

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