A soldier at Preah Vihear temple poses for a photo
Today has ended with news on the international wires that two separate gun battles took place earlier today, Friday, between Cambodian and Thai troops at the disputed Preah Vihear
border area. I can't say I'm surprised as the Thai's seem hell-bent on provoking incidents of this nature. The Cambodians are well dug-in on the mountainside in a series of heavily-fortified bunkers but both sides are in close proximity to each other, so casualties, as reported tonight, are inescapable. I was told when I visited the area last week that the front-line of Cambodian troops are battle-hardened ex-Khmer Rouge (the last of whom came over to the government side in 1998), whilst the parachute regiment and Hun Sen's personal bodyguard unit are also amongst those facing the Thai army units at close quarters. Whilst we were at the temple, soldiers were happy to pose for photographs, grateful that we had visited the temple despite the tensions all around us, and we watched one unit in particular getting their instructions from their unit commander who wielded a long stick and berated his men about sloppiness in their behaviour and attitude. I hope that tomorrow he will thank his men for their willingness to defend their country and for their bravery under fire.
Rocket-launcher and thigh pistol are this soldiers main weapons The setting sun casts a long shadow as this soldier prepares to join his unit A unit commander on the right of 30 men providing his men with instructions and advice As the sun falls behind Preah Vihear, this unit lines up for instructions in the shadow of the 1st gopura
Labels: Preah Vihear