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Thai soldiers leave Ta Krabey

AFTER a tense two-day stand-off, Thai soldiers have withdrawn from Ta Krabey temple and are now stationed some 200 metres from the cliff-top sanctuary.

"Both [Thailand and Cambodia's] armed forces have now withdrawn their troops from the temple," Ho Bunthy, deputy commander of Border Military Unit 402, told the Post Sunday.

On Wednesday, 145 Thai soldiers occupied the temple - which has been controlled by Cambodia for years - and refused to leave for two days, instead standing side by side with the Cambodian military.

"The temple has always been under our control but when the Thai soldiers refused to leave we guarded the temple next to them," Ho Bunthy said.

The withdrawal comes after meetings between Thai and Cambodian military commanders held this weekend, during which both sides agreed to withdraw all soldiers to their respective bases approximately 200 metres from the newly-contested site to "avoid armed confrontation", Ho Bunthy said. 

Despite the compromise on Ta Krabey, the situation at nearby Preah Vihear, where a standoff over  disputed land is stretching into its second month, remains the same, said Yim Phim, commander of Brigade 43.

"Nothing has changed," Yim Phim told the Post Sunday, adding that troops from both sides were still at their posts.

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