Thailand and Cambodia in fresh border clash

More than 5,000 people are to be evacuated along the Thailand and Cambodia border

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At least six soldiers are reported to have been killed and several wounded in fighting between Cambodia and Thailand over their long-disputed border.

The clashes erupted near Ta Krabey temple, which both sides claim. More than 5,000 local people are to be evacuated, officials say.

It is the worst incident since at least 10 people were killed in clashes at another disputed temple in February.

Until Friday, an informal truce had appeared to be holding.

Indonesia, which has been facilitating talks on behalf of regional bloc the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and expressed "profound concern".

The scene is now said to be calm, after several hours of fighting.

Fragile ceasefire

Both countries blamed each other for starting the latest exchange of fighting.

Cambodia said the incident began at dawn, when Thai troops moved in on designated Cambodian territory, firing rockets and rifles and forcing Cambodian troops to retaliate.

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Cambodian defence ministry spokesman Lt Gen Chhum Socheat said three Cambodian soldiers were killed and six wounded.

Thailand said its troops had been on routine patrol in the area and Cambodia fired first.

A Thai spokesman told the BBC that three soldiers had been killed and 11 injured.

The governor of Surin province, Serm Chainarong, said the authorities were preparing to evacuate 5,000 people from the area. Cambodian authorities also said that they had evacuated about 200 families.

Tensions have been high - with troops and artillery massing on both sides of the border - since four days of deadly fighting in February over the 11th Century Preah Vihear temple, some 200km (124 miles) east of Ta Krabey.

A ceasefire was brokered after those clashes, but the latest fighting shows just how fragile it is, the BBC's Rachel Harvey in Bangkok says.

February's clashes killed at least 10 people and stoked nationalist sentiment on both sides.

Preah Vihear temple - high in mountains along the border between the two nations - was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 by an international court.

But both sides claim ownership of the surrounding area, and there have been several skirmishes there in recent years.

Other parts of the Thai-Cambodian border have not yet been formally demarcated, causing ongoing tensions between the two neighbours.

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