Cambodian and Thai troops clashed briefly on Monday for a fourth straight day, Phnom Penh said, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for “maximum restraint” in a border dispute that has claimed six lives.
The latest flare-up erupted during an operation by Thai soldiers to recover casualties from Sunday’s heavy fighting, according to Cambodia, which accused Thailand of damaging an 11th-century temple at the centre of the hostilities.
Cambodia said one of its soldiers was killed overnight and accused Thailand of wanting to occupy the disputed 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8-square-mile) area around the Preah Vihear temple. Thailand, however, played down the latest skirmish, with a military source near the border describing it as a “misunderstanding”.
The renewed clashes – which were reported to have injured 13 Thai soldiers on Sunday night – shattered a brief ceasefire agreed on Saturday after the worst fighting between the two neighbours in years. In New York, Ban’s office said the UN chief was “deeply concerned” about the standoff.