AFP: Cambodia fires on Thai passenger plane UPDATE Or not?By Bangkok Pundit Jul 13, 2012 1:00AM UTC
UPDATE: The Nation has an article with the headline “Reports of shots fired at Thai aircraft near Cambodia downplayed”:
A Thai commercial aircraft came under warning shots while flying over Sa Kaew near the Thai-Cambodian border, according to an unconfirmed report yesterday evening, with the Foreign Ministry saying it was checking the unaccredited claim.
Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul told reporters in Phnom Penh that there was no such shooting by Cambodia at the commercial flight.
Having made thorough checks of several agencies and the airline, as well as the Cambodian commander and Thai military attache in Phnom Penh, Surapong had received no confirmation of such an incident, he said
BP: Wonder what time Surapong spoke to the press. The Thai Army deputy spokesman and the Cambodian military commander quotes are fairly clear and not open for interpretation… Anyone seen a story with any other details?
h/t to Matt for the update
“The Cambodian military fired because there was a Thai passenger plane – Bangkok Airways – which could not land at Siem Reap airport because of bad weather,” said Thai deputy army spokesman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong.
“It was misunderstood by Cambodia to be spy plane,” he said, adding that no one was hurt in the incident near the northern Cambodian tourist destination of Siem Reap.
Cambodian military at the border – the site of deadly territorial clashes between the neighbouring countries last year – confirmed troops had opened fire at an aircraft.
“It was dark so we could not see what type of plane it was. But it was circling many times and then our soldiers fired 18 shots from a machine gun, but it missed the plane because it was flying very high,” Commander Seng Phearin said.
“I think a passenger plane would not fly around the border. We suspected it was a spy plane, so we fired to defend our airspace,” he said, adding the aircraft had been around 10km inside Cambodia.
BP: In the past, there were disputes over who fired first in clashes on the border, but in this instance we have a Cambodian military Commander at the border confirming that the Cambodians did fire on a plane. Unless the Cambodians can produce convincing evidence to the contrary, this is outrageous (not even sure what the Cambodians could produce, maybe a shot down Thai spy plane). Even then, just look at the Cambodian reasoning for firing. Was it our radar detected an unidentified plane resembling a Royal Thai Air Force plane used for reconnaissance missions and after trying to engage the pilot the plane flew closer? No, it was they were not sure what plane it was and so they fired on it. Don’t they have radar to detect planes coming across the border? One hopes they have not been believing the conspiracy theorists about NASA and Utapao, but if so, they would know that the deal fell through.
Yingluck is visiting Cambodia tomorrow. She will be flying there. Hilary will also be in Phnom Penh along with many other Ministers from around the world. Wonder how they will feel as they enter Cambodian air space? This firing first at planes can’t continue. If that Cambodian military quote is accurate, it is so f*cking insane….