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    Thai-Cambodia Border Clashes Kill at Least Two


    by NTDTelevision

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    At least two Thai soldiers are dead after an early morning clash with Cambodian troops in the disputed border area. The two sides fought with rockets and guns as thousands of villagers were evacuated from the area.

    At least two Thai soldiers are killed in clashes with Cambodian troops on Friday morning, the bloodiest fighting in the disputed border area since February.

    Thai army said seven Thai soldiers were also wounded and that authorities are evacuating about 7,500 people from the area.

    Thai and Cambodian soldiers fought with rockets and guns on their disputed border in the first major flare-up since a shaky ceasefire in February.

    Both sides accused each other of firing first in the thick jungle around Ta Moan and Ta Krabei temples in the northeastern Thai province of Surin. It is located about 90 miles southwest of the ancient Preah Vihear temple, which saw a deadly stand-off in February.

    A Cambodian defense ministry spokesman says Cambodia suffered fatalities as well, but it was unclear how many. He says troops responded to Thai fire with rocket-propelled grenades.

    Witnesses in one Thai village say occasional gunshots and shelling could still be heard, although the heaviest fighting had stopped.

    [Evacuated Villager]:
    "We heard gun firing since dawn and it is still going on when we left the village, there were a few artillery shells that exploded close to our village."

    The fighting is the most severe since three Thais and eight Cambodians were killed and dozens of people wounded in February.