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Asia

Tensions between Cambodia and Thailand over Red Shirts

Cambodia has strongly denied accusations from Thailand that anti-government Red Shirt protesters were trained at a Cambodian military base in a plot to assassinate top Thai leaders.

Red Shirt protesters demonstrate on the streets of Bangkok earlier this year

Red Shirt protesters demonstrate on the streets of Bangkok earlier this year

According to Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI), 11 Thai men arrested in northern Thailand last week were among 39 Red Shirt protesters trained at a military base in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, which is close to the Thai border.

Senior DSI investigator Lieutenant Colonel Prayao Thongsen told a news conference in Bangkok on Monday that the men had fled Thailand after the clamp-down on anti-government protests in May. He added that the men "were fed misinformation and brainwashed" through anti-monarchy videos and CDs at the Cambodian military base. They were also trained to use weapons and explosives for the purpose of assassinating top Thai leaders including the prime minister.

Thais 'always put the blame on Cambodia'

Koy Kuong, a spokesman at Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs retorted that "the Thais always put the blame on Cambodia when they cannot solve their internal problems," according to Reuters news agency.

Thailand’s nervousness is possibly related to the mysterious bomb blast in the Thai capital last week, indicating a possible radicalization of some elements of the anti-government movement. On the other hand, tensions already exist between the two neighbours over border disputes and over Cambodia’s ties to former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is believed to be providing guidance as well as finances for the Red Shirts.

ac/Reuters/AP

Editor: Thomas Baerthlein

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