Two soldiers die as Thailand and Cambodia fight over jungle temple

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THE confrontation between Thailand and Cambodia over a jungle-clad Hindu temple escalated into bloodshed when two soldiers died in fierce exchanges of rocket and machine-gun fire.

This fighting, heavier than anything seen before, inflicted the first loss of life since the stand-off began. Both of those killed were Cambodian troops, while five of their Thai rivals were wounded. Another 10 Thai soldiers were captured and are now being held by their neighbour.

The clashes, lasting about two hours, broke out near the Preah Vihear temple, an 11th century shrine found on the two countries' disputed border. They raised fears of a full scale frontier war between Thailand and Cambodia, who have a history of bitter rivalry.

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