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    Cambodia warns Thailand again in border spat

    Reuters
    13.10.2008 - 12:07 | Son Güncelleme:

    Cambodia accused Thailand on Monday of trying to send troops across their disputed border, warning that such a provocation could eventually lead to "large scale conflict".

    Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said up to 500 Thai troops had tried to cross the border near an area where two Thai soldiers stepped on landmines earlier this month.

     

    "Our troops at the border have asked the Thais not to encroach on our border," he told reporters after talks with his Thai counterpart, Sompong Amornvivat, in Phnom Penh.

     

    "If so, there will be an armed clash. This could lead to a large-scale conflict," he said.

     

    Sompong did not speak to reporters, but Thai officials in Bangkok denied there was any attempted incursion.

     

    "Invasion? What invasion when the land is claimed by both sides?" Thai army spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd told Reuters.

     

    Bangkok and Phnom Penh have accused each other of unprovoked aggression since a border shooting incident on Oct. 3 in which three soldiers were wounded.

     

    After that clash, Cambodia warned Thailand that such "armed provocation" could lead to conflict.

     

    The standoff began in July and centers on 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub near an ancient Hindu temple that sits on a jungle-clad escarpment dividing the countries.

     

    The argument started when protest groups seeking to overthrow the Thai government criticized Bangkok's backing of Cambodia's bid to list Preah Vihear as a U.N. World Heritage site.

     

    Both sides have claimed Preah Vihear for decades. The International Court of Justice awarded it to Cambodia in 1962, a ruling that has rankled many in Thailand ever since.

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