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Cambodia Protests Border Clash with Thailand


Cambodia's Foreign Ministry has formally protested Thailand's action in a border skirmish that wounded at least one Cambodian and two Thai soldiers.

A letter sent Saturday to the Thai ambassador in Phnom Penh blames Thai soldiers for the incident, and says such provocation could lead to full-scale armed hostility.

The clash broke out Friday near the centuries-old Preah Vihear temple, which is at the center of recent skirmishes. Officials from both sides say the exchange lasted a few minutes. It is not clear who fired first.

The border dispute erupted in July after Cambodia won World Heritage status for the Preah Vihear temple. Both countries claim ownership of the surrounding land.

Cambodia and Thailand had up to 1,000 troops stationed along the border. By August, tensions eased as both sides agreed to pull back troops.

The new Thai prime minister Somchai Wongsawat says he will seek to make progress on resolving the conflict when he visits Cambodia October 13.

The International Court of Justice granted sovereignty of the Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962. But many Thai nationalists rejected the court's ruling, which also left ownership of land surrounding the temple in dispute.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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