Monday, March 2, 2009

One Thai soldier arrested for illegally entering Cambodian territories

Thai de-miners clearing land-mines inside Cambodian territories near Preah Vihear temple after Thai soldiers had occupied the areas on 15th July, 2008.

Deum Ampil News
1st March, 2009
Reported in English by Khmerization

A Cambodian military source said that one Thai soldier was arrested on 27th February near the Khmer-Thai border in Anlong Veng for illegally entering Cambodian territories, reported Deum Ampil News.

Deum Ampil News reported that the lone soldier has explosives wrapped around his body and he also carried a map.

The source said that the lone soldier was arrested at a Cambodian military camp near the O'Kra-Nhoung frontline about 1 kilometre from Choam Sra-Ngam Checkpoint on the top of Dangrek Mountain.
The Deum Ampil News reported that, while the Cambodian soldiers were quietly guarding the border frontline, they suddenly saw a lone Thai soldier carrying a backpack walking through the bush towards the Cambodian frontline which make them very suspicious. Immediately, the Cambodian guards went to question him on the spot. But upon seeing the Cambodian guards, the lone Thai soldiers tried to run into the bush but was chased and arrested by the Cambodian soldiers at 5:30 in the afternoon.

After he was arrested, the Cambodian soldiers body-searched him and found many explosives in his backpack. Among the explosives found were eleven 69-type land mines, one bomb trigger and a pistol.

After questioning him, the Cambodia soldiers assumed that this lone Thai soldier brought the mines into Cambodian territories with the intention of laying them on Cambodian soil to cause injuries to the Cambodian soldiers. By 28th February, this Thai soldier has not been released yet as they were waiting to question him further and waiting for an intervention from the Thai side.

The arrest of this lone Thai soldier happened two days after 4 Thai soldiers were arrersted by the Cambodian soldiers for illegally entering Cambodian territories. The four Thai soldiers were subsequently released after the Thai side made a request.

A few months ago, Thailand had lodged a formal complaint to the Ottawa Anti-Mine Convention against Cambodia, accusing it of continuing to lay land-mines which have injured a few Thai soldiers when they crossed into Khmer territories. But the Cambodian side had always maintained that "the land-mines that the Thai soldiers stepped on were old land-mines left behind by the civil war between the Khmer Rouge faction and the Phnom Penh government during the 1980s." They added that those land-mines were not newly-planted.

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