Thailand advise citizens to leave Cambodia as border tension rises

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Bangkok, Oct 15 (UNI) Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said plans were in place to evacuate Thai citizens from Cambodia following an escalation of border tensions which saw Thai and Cambodian troops exchange fire today.

The minister urged Thai nationals to leave Cambodia immediately after troops from the two nations clashed briefly along a disputed stretch of border this afternoon.

The clash took place near the disputed Phreah Vihar temple in Cambodian territory, barely two weeks after a similar incident in the area.

Thai army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Thai troops reacted to the firing by Cambodian soldiers into Thai territory. The Thai army official said one Cambodian soldier was killed and four Thai army personnel injured in the gunfight.

The incident follows an ultimatum earlier this month by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen asking Thai troops to pull out from the disputed area near the Preah Vihar temple.

The dispute over the 900-year-old Hindu temple, awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice four decades ago, stirs strong nationalistic passions in both the countries.

UNI XC PD VC1750

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