Who fired first in the Thai-Cambodian border clashes?
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Who fired first in the Thai-Cambodian border clashes?

Both sides have blamed the other side for firing first. For Sunday, the Bangkok Post has the Thai position:

2. However, on 6 February 2011, at 18.30 hours, Cambodian troops breached the above agreement by opening fire, preceded by firing of military illumination flares into the sky, into Chong Don Ao Pass and Phu Ma Khua in Thai territory before launching attacks to other areas in Thai territory, namely Sattasom Hill, Phlan Yao, Chong Ta Thao Pass, the area near the Temple of Phra Viharn, and the Phum Srol village.

Wayne Hay of Al Jazeera (you can download the video report here) on Sunday:

“…..We’re situated right alongside a Thai artillery position and we’ve seen dozens of artillery shells being fired across into Cambodian territory…… This time, a Thai army source told us that this clash started when they saw a flare go up from the Cambodian side. The Thais feared that an attack was coming, so the Thais started firing artillery shells towards the Cambodian area. But, as we have seen in the past, these clashes are followed by a blame game with both sides saying that the opposite started the fighting”

BP: So did the firing of flares by Cambodia caused Thailand to overreact? It is hard to see that firing artillery shells is a proportionate response to firing a flare, but why did Cambodia fire flares?

h/t a reader


Cambodian army soldiers stand in the back of a military truck at the foot mountain of the Cambodia's 11th century Hindu Preah Vihear temple, which was enlisted as UNESCO's World Heritage in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. Pic: AP.