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Cambodian soldier shot near Preah Vihear temple

Cambodian and Thai soldiers along the border near Preah Vihear temple had a brief exchange of gunfire yesterday, leaving one Cambodian soldier injured, an RCAF official said.

Pen Song, stationed in Preah Vihear province, said shots were fired between the two groups at about 11:50am in the area of An Ses in Choam Ksan district some 30km from the temple.

During the 20-minute exchange, which involved seven Cambodian soldiers, one man was shot in the leg, suffering minor injuries, he said.

“We lost five guns [AK-47s] after the shooting, but our soldiers have returned with one injured,” he said. “[The soldier] is at the provincial hospital.”

Military commanders along the border and from the Ministry of Defence were unwilling to comment or unreachable yesterday, but Men Sophea, a soldier in Preah Vihear, confirmed the shooting, saying Cambodian soldiers had been deployed to stop illegal loggers entering Thailand.

The countries have never fully demarcated their 805km border and troops have exchanged gunfire several times since 2008, when Preah Vihear was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at sokha.cheang@phnompenhpost.com

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