Thai, Cambodian soldiers clash in disputed border area

April 22, 2011 05:06

BANGKOK - Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchanged gunfire on a disputed stretch of their border on Friday, the latest flare-up of an ancient feud over a 900-year-old Hindu temple.

Both sides accused each other of firing first in clashes about 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Preah Vihear temple, which is claimed by both Southeast Asian nations and saw an armed stand-off in February.

"There was gunfire coming from Cambodia's side," Yutthana Viriyakitti, deputy governor of the northeastern Thai province of Surin, told Reuters, adding that authorities were evacuating hundreds of villagers from the area.

Pich Sokhin, provincial governor of Cambodia's Oddar Meanchey province, said clashes erupted at around 6:30 a.m. (1130 GMT) in areas around the Ta Moan and Ta Krabei temples. "The fighting is still going on and the Thais fired at us first," Pich Sokhin said.

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