Thai intelligence probes new Cambodian army unit in Poipet
SA KAEO, May 23 (TNA) - Thai intelligence officres are investigating reports that some 200 Cambodian soldiers have moved to Poipet on the Thai-Cambodian border some two kilometres from the border crossing and casinos at the frontier.
A former Cambodian soldier, now a trader in Poipet, opposite the key Thai border district of Aranyaprathet, said some 200 fully armed Cambodian soldiers had moved to Poipet and built tents behind the airport since Tuesday.
The Cambodian soldiers visit Poipet market areas at night, causing fear among local Cambodians that fresh fighting with Thailand could erupt after the Thai government had kept silent regarding the Cambodian demand for over US$2 million compensation for damage allegedly caused by heavy Thai army gunfire during the April 3 border clash near the ancient Preah Vihear temple, affecting some 300 Cambodian households.
The Cambodian Foreign Ministry earlier sent a diplomatic note to Thailand, asking for the compensation. It said that Thai artillery had destroyed 264 market stalls in front of Preah Vihear temple, affecting 319 Cambodian households.
However, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reaffirmed that the area in question belongs to Thailand.
Cambodian intelligence reports said that army unit was assigned had come into the area as a senior military commander planned to visit there in order to map out a new military restructuring plan.
Thai military intelligence is assessing the movements of the Cambodian unit, claiming that the practice violates an agreement made between the two countries barring additional troops of either country from being posted to areas adjacent to the border. (TNA)