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Tensions Erupt on Thai-Cambodian Border

Saturday, February 5, 2011

video
Dramatic footage from the front lines of battle that broke out along the Thai and Cambodian border.

Cambodian soldiers launched rocket-propelled grenades and artillery toward the Thais, and received a hailstorm of bullets in return.

Artillery shells fell on houses of an evacuated village on the Thai side, as residents scrambled to the safety of bomb shelters.

Fighting has been on and off for two days bringing the casualties to four – two Cambodian soldiers and one Thai soldier, as well as a Thai villager.

At the center of the dispute – the grounds surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple, which both sides claim is theirs. The temple sits on land awarded to Cambodia by an international court and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Thailand is unhappy with Cambodia's claim to the temple and the feud has become a wedge issue in both Thai and Cambodian politics.

Thai "yellow shirt" supporters called for the government to take stronger action against Cambodia.

While in Cambodia, people said their country should not let Thailand off so easily.

[Prum Sothea, Cambodian National]:  "Whenever they enter our land we must fight to stop them from being so aggressive. If we are quiet then they think that we do not have enough ammunition to fight them, but now we have plenty of ammunition."

Leaders from both countries met Friday for talks on a host of border issues, although no disputes were resolved.

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