Friday, April 29, 2011

One Thai soldier and one civilian were killed and 11 troops wounded in a new round of border fighting between Thai and Cambodian forces throughout Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, three Thai villagers based in Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district have been arrested for allegedly providing target coordinates for Cambodia's rocket attacks as well as food and supplies to Cambodian soldiers.
Sanat Phimkao, a former village head, has been released due to insufficient evidence but as of last night, Khamphan Wongsa and Sermsuk Phochaile were still being detained by police for further questioning.
The arrests came after the military received information allegedly indicating they had shopped for supplies and food and delivered them to Cambodian soldiers.
The military was also suspicious because rockets from BM21 multiple launchers were landing frequently in Nong Khan Na village. Police found in their mobile phones a large number of numbers with area codes in Cambodia.
As of 8pm last night, Khamphan and Sermsuk were being detained in Prasat district police station after being handed over by Phanom Dong Rak police. They must be released in the next 48 hours if no charges are pressed against them.
After the latest fighting, which ended around 8.20am yesterday, six Thai soldiers and two Thai civilians had been killed while 58 soldiers sustained injuries.
The Thai military cited a large number of Cambodian casualties, but the figures could not be independently verified.
A military spokesman said the fighting began around 8pm Wednesday when a large number of Cambodians moved into Ta Muen Thom and Ta Kwai Temples in Surin, before Thai soldiers engaged them with small arms and mortar fire.
The fighting was most intense around 4am when rocket and artillery fire landed on Thai soldiers' outposts, but Thailand's resistance endured and successfully drove away the Cambodian troops at around 6am.
Yesterday, sublieutenant Uthai Muenaphai became the latest soldier killed in action. A royally sponsored cremation for SgtMajor Bunrat Sukjit, who was posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel and was the first killed when the fighting broke out last Thursday, was held yesterday at a temple in Buri Ram's Muang district, his birthplace.
A wreath from His Majesty the King was presented at Bunrat's funeral.
Two government hospitals and 15 clinics in Surin have closed while nine clinics remain open. Medical services have been provided to 7,736 of 43,923 villagers living in 34 local shelters, the provincial public health office said.
Six soldiers and two Thai civilians have died, while 956 people are suffering from lowlevel stress. Another 85 are moderately stressed, with 56 highly stressed, said Dr Saard Weerajaroen. All patients with serious conditions have been transferred to hospitals at least 50km away from the border.
A new shelter has been opened in Ban Kruad district in neighbouring Buri Ram, in addition to an existing seven that house around 8,000 residents. The latest fighting and rocket fire on Wednesday sent 700 residents from their homes to the shelters.

According to The Nation


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