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Lao, Thai troops clash on border: RCAF

Lao, Thai troops clash on border: RCAF

AN RCAF general said Thursday some 30 Thai soldiers were fired upon by an unknown number of Lao troops in the Golden Triangle region where the three countries' borders converge.

The incident happened after Thai soldiers strayed into Lao territory en route to Cambodia.

"Lao soldiers shot at the Thais [on Wednesday] as they were walking in Lao territory, but we have no information about possible casualties," the general, who asked not to be named, told the Post Thursday.

"I have not received any new reports, but we are investigating the matter carefully," he said.

The general added that since Thai soldiers began crossing the border in July, cooperation between Cambodia and Laos to monitor developments along  the border has strengthened.

Soldiers from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos are normally deployed in the Golden Triangle area, but tension has increased as a result of the months-long standoff between Thai and Cambodian forces over disputed border territory.

The general said the recent unexpected arrival of seven Thai soldiers at a Cambodian military guard house in the area had further inflamed matters following last week's gun battle near Preah Vihear.

"They came to stay with our soldiers on our land," the general said. "We will burn this house [rather than cede it to them] because we built it on our own land."

Addressing the reported clash between Lao and Thai soldiers, Neang Phat, secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence, said "it is an issue between Laos and Thailand and did not involve Cambodian territory".

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