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Thailand To Issue Its Own Report to UN on Clashes

A Cambodian refugee sleeps on a hammock at a refugee camp at Tnol Toteng village, east of the famed Preah Vihear temple. Thailand accused Cambodia of refusing to negotiate to resolve a border dispute that led to the fourth straight day of fierce clashes M

Thailand is preparing its own report to the UN Security Council following four days of deadly border clashes, claiming Cambodian soldiers attacked Thai civilians, an official spokesman told VOA Khmer.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of submitting a letter to the UN and informing the members of the UN Security Council for the incident that took place where Thai citizens have been attacked by Cambodian troops,” Panitan Watanayagorn, a spokesman for the Thai government said.

Thai soldiers had acted in self-defense, he said, and the Thai explanation will outline movements of Thai and Cambodian troops leading up to the clashes.

Cross-border fighting began on Friday afternoon and only subsided Monday morning. In that time, at least five people were killed, including one Cambodian and one Thai civilian, according to reports.

Preah Vihear temple, an 11th-Century Unesco World Heritage Site, was damaged during the fighting. Cambodian military officials say Thai artillery caused part of the temple to collapse.

However, Panitan said the Thai side was responding to attacks from Cambodian positions.

Thousands of Thai citizens have reportedly fled their homes in the wake of the violence, with some homes destroyed.

Thailand’s explanation to the UN will coincide with an appeal from Cambodia for UN intervention in the rising tensions, which have seen numerous skirmishes since a troop build-up on both sides since 2008.

Panitan said Thailand maintained an official position of peaceful bilateral negotiations with Cambodia, rather than an international solution.

However, Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh told VOA Khmer that a military clash resulting in the damage of a World Heritage site was a complicated matter that warranted international attention.