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Ongart: Border evacuation to continue, 3 more soldiers wounded

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BANGKOK, 23 April 2011 (NNT) – Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Ongart Klampaiboon has confirmed that more villagers near Thai-Cambodian border areas will be evacuated today as hostilities continue and 3 more injuries have been reported.

Mr Ongart called a meeting with the Governor of Surin and security officials in Prasat district of Surin province to follow up and evaluate the cross-border gunfire between Thailand and Cambodia, which had become volatile since early yesterday. The Minister ordered the authorities to keep over 15,000 local residents, who had been evacuated, within sheltering centers for their safety.

Within today, Mr Ongart said another 15,000 people in Kap Choeng district of Surin and 2,500 others in the nearby province of Buri Ram would be relocated to safe places outside a 30-kilometer radius of the danger zone. The operation is to protect the locals from potential harm and will be conducted in a gradual manner to minimize the level of panic.

In response to a new round of gunfight this morning, the Minister clarified that it originated from Cambodian troops’ attempt to intrude on Thai soil, which led to the confrontation. Three Thai soldiers were injured in the incident and have been sent to Surin Hospital.

Reporter : Surapan Laotharanarit