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20 Arrested Following New Year Violence

Battambang provincial authorities detained around 20 people who threw stones at a border casino Tuesday morning, following a confrontation at a New Year concert in Thailand.

Two Cambodians were injured in fighting between Cambodian and Thai revelers, who began scuffling while dancing to ring in the New Year.

Angered by the fighting, some 60 people then entered the compound of a casino owned by a Thai, on the Cambodian side of the border, and began throwing dozens of stones at the main building’s windows, Kamreang district’s police chief, Chhim Kim Hong, told VOA Khmer.

“We arrested around 20 people and confiscated a truck full of stones,” he said. “During the intervention, two police were wounded and a military police truck was damaged.”

Cambodia and Thailand are engaged in an ongoing border dispute at Preah Vihear province, far to the east, but tensions have remained high across the frontier.

In 2003, Cambodian mobs burned and looted the Thai Embassy and other Thai businesses, following rumors that a Thai actress made remarks about Angkor Wat.

Battambang Police Chief Sar Theth said the police were called in to prevent disorder.

“We cannot tolerate their illegal activity,” he said, adding that the suspects were being held at the district police station as a report was compiled for the courts.