By Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
21 August 2008
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Thursday the soldiers were sent to the border as “protection,” not to prepare for a war with Thailand.
The 250 soldiers, from the Siem Reap provincial army, were reinforcements for smaller force that rotated out of Anlong Veng, with more deployments expected along more than 800 kilometers of border with Thailand, Khieu Kanharith said.
The soldiers were sent to Anlong Veng, which shares 60 kilometers of border with Thailand, to prevent the loss of “a single meter of land,” said Siem Reap Governor Sour Phirin.
“We took all kinds of weapons, including artillery, anti-aircraft guns, AK-47s and rocket launchers,” Sour Phirin said. “We are strong enough to protect our territory if, for example, a war is provoked with the Thai said.”
The deployment of soldiers to Anlong Veng follows talks between the two countries this week that failed to fully end a military standoff at Preah Vihear temple and a minor military build-up at the Ta Moan temples of Oddar Meanchey province.