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Restraint urged in border dispute

CAMBODIAN officials are urging restraint after a round of angry finger-pointing over Friday's shootout between Cambodian and Thai troops on the border near Preah Vihear temple.

"Cambodia has shown clearly that Thai soldiers are provoking confrontation, but our side is trying to continue negotiations and avoid any more fights," said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary of State Koy Kuong on Sunday, after one Cambodian and two Thai soldiers were injured in the first military clash over disputed border territory since a standoff began in July.

Cambodia on Saturday accused Thai troops of trespassing and firing first. "Such armed provocation" could lead to "full-scale armed hostilities", a Foreign Ministry staement said.

Thai authorities responded later that day that Cambodian soldiers crossed the border and fired on unarmed Thai rangers in "a brutal and aggressive act".

Srey Doek, commander of Cambodian forces in the area, said after he met with his Thai counterpart Saturday that the situation had normalised.

Top military officials from both sides have insisted reinforcements would not be sent to the border. Ke Kim Yan, commander-in-chief of RCAF, is scheduled to visit soldiers stationed along the border today.  

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