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Thai soldiers to conduct border patrols

THAI military officials stationed across the border from Oddar Meanchey province have informed their Cambodian counterparts that they intend to conduct patrols along the frontier for one month beginning July 1, a border official said Monday.

Touch Ra, deputy chief of the Thailand-Cambodia Relations Office at the Chom international border gate, said the patrol would stretch over 40 kilometres along the border between Anlong Veng and Trapaing Prasat districts.

“Thai military have informed us they will patrol for one month to look for illegal logging and crime in their territory along the border,” Touch Ra said.
“They have informed us in advance because they are worried the border troops might clash again due to misunderstandings.”

On June 8, Cambodian and Thai troops exchanged warning shots along the border in Trapaing Prasat district after a “misunderstanding” between the two sides, government and military officials said at the time.

The warning shots came less than two months after Thai and Cambodian soldiers traded fire in two brief skirmishes in Samraong district on the morning of April 19.

Chea Morn, commander of Military Region 4, said Monday that he had not been notified about the communication from the Thai military, but warned that Thai troops must stay out of Cambodian territory.

“We have no problem with a patrol if they do it inside their territory, but they must not walk in prohibited places along the border,” he said.

Also on Monday, a military official in Battambang province’s Samlot district said Thai soldiers had vowed to send back 10 Cambodian farmers and two Cambodian soldiers who were arrested in Trat province on Saturday while scavenging for food.

Tuy Bunly, deputy commander of Military Region 5, said he had been negotiating with Thai authorities since their arrest, and that he had been “promised that they will send them back on Tuesday”.

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