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Cease-fire talks collapse between Thailand, Cambodia

By the CNN Wire Staff
A Cambodian soldier stands guard near the Cambodia-Thailand border in Oddar Meanchey province on April 26, 2011.
A Cambodian soldier stands guard near the Cambodia-Thailand border in Oddar Meanchey province on April 26, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fresh clashes break out as talks collapse, a Thai official says
  • Thailand says 27,000 people are living in shelters
  • Each side blames the other for the violence, which erupted near two disputed temples
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Thai officials on Wednesday pulled out of planned cease-fire talks with Cambodia, hours after fighting flared up again in a bloody border dispute that has sent tens of thousands fleeing over the past week.

About 27,000 people are living in shelters in Thailand, the nation's health ministry said.

A Thai army spokesman said the two nations had planned meetings between their defense ministers to discuss a cease-fire.

"But before our departure yesterday, some Cambodian media misreported that our trip to Cambodia was to surrender because we were defeated," said Col. Sansern Kawekumnerd, the spokesman.

Gallery: Preah Vihear temple

"So the minister thought that if we continued our trip to Cambodia today, it will bring wrong messages to Cambodia and the international community."

But the negotiation door is not closed, the spokesman said.

He accused Cambodia of firing again on Tuesday night, and urged the nation to halt attacks "to show their honesty of going back to negotiation table."

The spokesman said Cambodians unsuccessfully attempted to seize Ta Muen and Ta Kwai temples on Tuesday night, leaving one civilian dead.

Thailand calls the temples Ta Kwai and Ta Muen, while Cambodia calls them Ta Krabey and Ta Moan. Much of the border between the two countries remains in dispute.

Both sides claim the disputed temples are in their country.

Clashes between the two started Friday as they accused each other of trying to seize the ancient temples. Thai officials say at least six of its citizens have died and more than 40 injured in the clashes over the past week.

Cambodia has said three of its troops have been killed in the fighting.

In February, at least 10 people were killed when fighting flared up in another disputed border area between the two nations, prompting the United Nations Security Council to issue a statement calling on both sides to implement a cease-fire.

Those clashes stemmed from a longstanding conflict related to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

Both Cambodia and Thailand lay claim to the temple, which sits atop a cliff on Cambodian soil but has its most accessible entrance on the Thai side.

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.

 
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