Clashes erupt for third day on Thai-Cambodian border

April 25, 2011 - 0:0

BAN NONGKANA, Thailand (Reuters) – Heavy fighting erupted on Sunday for a third day between Thai and Cambodian troops, with gunfire and explosions heard on both sides of the disputed border as the United Nations renewed calls for a lasting solution to the conflict.

The clashes, which have killed 11 people on both sides since Friday, started at 0950 a.m. (0250 GMT) with the sound of sustained artillery explosions.
Some villagers on the Thai side were loading pick-up trucks with family and pets and fleeing, while others packed into newly dug bunkers or hid in large concrete shelters.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for maximum restraint, “serious dialogue” and an “effective and verifiable” solution to a conflict he had earlier urged the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help settle after four days of deadly clashes in early February.
The reasons behind the clashes are not clear with the neighbors exchanging blame, but relations with Cambodia have become a divisive issue in Thailand's fractious domestic politics.
There were no immediate reports of any new casualties in the latest flare-up of the worst border fighting in nearly two decades.
As well as the 11 soldiers from both sides killed in the first two days, 43 were wounded in the clashes around the Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples, about 150 km (93 miles) west of the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple which saw a deadly four-day standoff in February.