2 die as Thai, Cambodian troops battle at border

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodian and Thai troops battled for two hours Friday along a disputed stretch of their shared border, trading artillery fire that killed at least two people near an 11th century temple that is a UN World Heritage Site.

The fighting was some of the fiercest in years between the two southeast Asian countries. Tensions between the neighbors have been exacerbated in recent days by pressure from powerful Thai nationalist groups, which have been staging protests in Bangkok urging the government to reclaim the land.

While a cease-fire was quickly reached and full-blown war unlikely, the territorial dispute remains volatile, with nationalist passions inflamed on both sides — and no clear way to settle it.

One Thai villager was killed and four Thai troops were slightly injured, Thai army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said. In Cambodia, privately owned Bayon TV reported that one Cambodian soldier was killed and five were wounded.


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