War is looming

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According to an article on www.bangkokpost.com, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered fresh troops to the border with an ultimatum to Thailand: “Pull military forces back today or the border will become a life and death battle zone.”

Hun Sen told reporters in Phnom Penh that he had warned Thailand’s visiting Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat that without a quick pull-out, Thai soldiers could face being fired upon by Cambodian troops in a “large-scale armed conflict.”

“If they cannot withdraw tonight, they must withdraw tomorrow,” said Hun Sen.

“We have tried to be patient, but I told the Thai foreign minister today that the area is a life-and-death battle zone.”

His comments came after talks with Mr Sompong in Phnom Penh.

Mr Sompong also met with his counterpart Hor Namhong in a bid to resolve the dispute over the area near the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

The Cambodian foreign minister said yesterday’s talks failed to end in agreement because his Thai opposite number “could not sign anything”.

Hun Sen and Hor Namhong both told reporters that Cambodia could choose to take the border dispute before an international court, if it was not resolved soon.