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Thai troops arrest two for border violations

Oddar Meanchey officials seek more information.

OFFICIALS in Oddar Meanchey province said Sunday that Thai soldiers had arrested two Cambodian nationals on suspicion of illegally crossing into Thailand.

Thai authorities arrested Rith Phirom, 27, from Trapaing Prasat district, and Khen Eang, 30, from Kampong Cham province, on Thursday near the border in Oddar Meanchy province, officials said.

Chhim Sivuth, a provincial chief inspector, confirmed Sunday that the men were arrested but could not say whether they were still in custody.

“We do not know whether these two Cambodian men have been released or are still being detained in a Thai prison,” he said. “We are waiting for information about their safety and location.”

Border tensions rise
The arrests are the latest in an apparent tit-for-tat between the two forces as tension continued to increase along the border. Last week, Cambodian troops arrested two Thai civilians – including a monk – in Banteay Ampil and Samrong districts, also for crossing the border illegally. Both men were released the following day without charge.

Pich Ratana, deputy chief of Oddar Meanchey’s provincial cabinet, urged Thailand on Sunday not to use violence against Cambodians suspected of illegal activity on the border.

“Thai soldiers have to stop shooting Cambodians for crossing the border illegally,” he said. Thai officials could not be reached for comment.

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