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Thai-Cambodian border dispute Another standoff

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September 14, 2008

Thai-Cambodian border dispute
Another standoff at a different temple ruin

Fully-armed Thai and Cambodian soldiers are again in confrontation -- this time at a different temple ruin on another mountain in Surin province -- but still marking the ill-defined border between the neighbouring countries, reported Thai News Agency.

A combined Thai Army force of local para-military rangers and regular troops from the Suranaree Task Force were dispatched to another ancient ruin, this time the Tawai temple sitting atop the Phnom Dong Rak mountain range in Thailand's northeastern province of Surin along the Cambodian border.

The Thai military force was dispatched following reports that some 150 armed Khmer troops led by Col Neak Pung, commander of the Cambodian army's Task Force 42 assigned to defend the mountain, had several days ago tried to enter the ancient temple, which is claimed by both countries.

The Tawai ruins is located about 12 kilometres east of Ta Muen Thom, another ruin contested by both countries which sparked tension in early August.

Both sides later agreed to withdraw their men from the Tawai temple compound but are still maintaining positions at the border.

The Tawai temple is attracting attention as the third disputed area between the two countries, after Thailand and Cambodia had engaged in disputes over the better-known

Preah Vihear and the Ta Muen Thom ruins, which lies either in Thailand's Surin province or in Cambodia's northern Uddor Meanchey province.

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