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Thai-Cambodia Fighting Continues for Seventh Day

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Published on Apr 28, 2011

Thailand sends more troops to the border to reinforce its army as clashes with Cambodia reaches the one-week mark. Each side has blamed the other for starting the fight, while a resolution has not been reached.

On Thursday, Thailand reinforced troops at a disputed area on its border with Cambodia, after clashes involving heavy artillery continues for a seventh day. The center of the dispute is the ownership of two 12th century Hindu temples.

The reinforcement followed a night of shelling in the area that killed a Thai soldier and wounded seven others.

Each side has blamed the other for starting each round of fighting. At least 15 people have been killed and more than 50,000 evacuated from their homes during the conflict.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya says Cambodia is wasting its resources and violating human rights by involving its civilians.

[Kasit Piromya, Thai Foreign Minister]:
"We appeal to Cambodia to stop the fighting. It (Cambodia) is a poor country but spending money in the battle, which means they are wasting their own resources."

In his first public comments on the conflict, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that Thailand's premier was a (quote) "thief" whose government committed "terrorism." But he did say he was willing to discuss the clashes at the two Hindu temples in one-on-one talks.

Thailand says it wants a bilateral solution, while Cambodia has sought international mediation and the deployment of independent monitors in the disputed area.

Those differences are posing a major test for ASEAN, a 10-member bloc with ambitions to become a regional community by 2015.

It is also a potential embarrassment for Indonesia, whose foreign minister brokered the U.N.-backed ceasefire pact in February that would have placed unarmed Indonesian military observers along the disputed border.

The Thai army objected and the deal never went through.

Thailand's foreign minister left to attend the ASEAN summit in Jakarta where he will also meet with his Cambodian counterpart to discuss the conflict.

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