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Military Plans Prolonged Border Defense

Cambodia has begun reinforcing its troops along the Thai border and plans to keep a strong military presence on the border until at least 2014, the Ministry of Defense says in a review.

In a report distributed to local media, Minister of Defense Tea Banh said the border would be bolstered “to ensure national protection.”

The Ministry of Defense is conducting a five-year review and making plans for the next five years.

The five-year plan includes recruitment of new forces and addition of equipment. Cambodian soldiers are engaged in a protracted standoff with Thai troops along the border at Preah Vihear temple.

Sporadic skirmishes since July 2008 have left at least seven soldiers dead.

“To ensure national protection, the Ministry of National Defense, the general command, have reinforced forces along the western and northern border and recruited new forces along with new equipment, for quality in combat,” Tea Banh said in the report, which was issued to defense officials Tuesday.

The document highlights reforms that include consolidating infantry, maritime and air forces.