Cambodia gives one Thai soldier captured in clash back to Thailand

Cambodia gives one Thai soldier captured in clash back to Thailand

Cambodia on Tuesday morning delivered a Thai solider captured during the clash on Saturday morning near the Preah Vihear Temple back to Thailand following the recognition by the Thai government, Xinhua reported.

"We received an official letter from the Thai Ministry of Defense signed by its Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Monday to request Cambodia to release back the Thai arrested soldier," Lieutenant General Nim Sovath, chief of the Defense Ministry's Department of Politics and Foreign Affairs, said on Tuesday during a meeting with military attach of foreign embassies in Cambodia.

"Now, we decided to give him back to the Thai side," he said.

The arrested soldier was Songkran Tongchompoo, 22, a compulsory soldier in the platoon 2 of the company 16 of the region 2 of Thai Army.

The hand-over ceremony was held at the Cambodian Ministry of Defense. Thai ambassador to Cambodia Prasas Prasasvinitchai came to receive the arrested Thai soldier.

"The Thai government thanks Cambodia for returning Songkran Tongchompoo to Thailand so quickly," said Prasas Prasasvinitchai during the ceremony.

It is also witnessed by a representative of the International Committee of Red Cross.

Cambodia and Thailand troops have exchanged fire for five times since Feb. 4, and both sides have used heavy weapons including rockets, machine guns, mortars and artillery. 

The clashes between Cambodia and Thailand troops have already caused many soldiers and civilians killed or wounded as well as serious damage to the temple of Preah Vihear, a World Heritage, according to the report from the Cambodian military stationed at the border area.

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