>Cambodia accuse Thai troops of damaging ancient temple


Picture of the Naga head which was hit by an M-79 rocket, allegedly fired by Thai soldiers (Photo by Koh Santepheap).

Thailand’s foreign ministry has denied Cambodian claims that Thai soldiers had damaged the ancient Preah Vihear temple with rocket fire during a border shoot-out earlier this month.

The ministry says Thai soldiers had only fired rifles, and instead accused Cambodian troops of using rockets during the clashes on disputed land on October 15.

The battle left three Cambodians and one Thai dead.

The Thai ministry says a number of grenades landed in Thailand’s national park near the 11th century temple and injured two Thai troops, adding that two unexploded Cambodian rocket rounds had been kept for evidence.

The Thai claims came after Cambodia filed a complaint with the United Nations saying a staircase and a sculpture were damaged by Thai rocket fire at the Khmer ruins.

Authorities in Cambodia say they have provided UNESCO with photographs of the damage.

Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat and his Cambodia’s counterpart, Hun Sen, held a bilateral meeting on the border conflict at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Beijing.

They vowed to solve the issue in a bilateral framework.

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