Tensions Still Running High at Preah Vihear

Tension remains high following Fri­day’s fighting at Preah Vihear temp­le, and Thai soldiers continue to move along the disputed border area which has seen fighting break out on three occasions, the most recent being Friday, government officials said.

“Generally on the battlefield the tense situation still exists,” Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Sip­han said by telephone Tuesday.

“The behavior of soldiers is to be always alert, every second and all the time. We have seen the Thai side. Thai soldier movements along the border are still going on,” he added.

Srey Dek, commander of RCAF forces at Preah Vihear temple, said his troops are tense but continue to be as alert as they have been throughout the current military stand­off, which began in mid-July.

“When I left the province today everything there was OK,” he said. “The tension is still going on, and our soldiers are still around and pay much attention to protecting our soil,” he said. “I cannot say whether there will be future ex­changes of fire or not,” he added.

Kamrob Palawatwichai, first secretary of the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, declined to comment on the situation for Thai troops located in the forest opposite the temple, two of whom were confirmed killed in Friday’s armed clash that lasted around one hour.

   (Additional reporting by Tim Sturrock)


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