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France Calls for End of Border Hostilities

A Cambodian military truck loads BM-21 multiple rocket launchers covered by a tent near the disputed border area between Cambodia and Thailand in Uddar Meanchey province, Cambodia, Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Thai and Cambodian military officers say the bord

The government of France on Monday called for the “immediate cessation of hostilities” between Cambodian and Thai troops on the border, as fighting for the 11th-straight day ended with a rising death toll.

Neither side has been able to honor a tenuous ceasefire agreed to by commanders on the ground last week. At least 17 people have been killed under artillery shelling, mortar attacks, rocket fire and small arms skirmishes since April 22.

In a statement, Bernard Valero, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, urged both sides to show “restraint and responsibility” and to “settle their disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law.”

France supports Indonesia’s Asean role to help broker a peaceful resolution and wants observers deployed to the border “soon,” the statement said.

Fighting has occurred at Ta Muan and Ta Krabei temples in Oddar Meanchey province and in areas near Preah Vihear temple, sending tens of thousands of civilians fleeing.

The leaders of both countries are expected to address the clashes at an Asean summit scheduled in Jakarta this weekend.