Rangers and lumberjacks clash at border area

Thai army-trained rangers and forestry officials exchanged gunfire with a group of Cambodian lumberjacks at a border area of northeastern Thailand, a government official said.

Five Cambodians, two of whom were suspected as army soldiers, had allegedly trespassed into Thai territory and poached for timber at the Huay Sala wildlife sanctuary in Phu Sing district of Sisaket province, according to Sathit Phanthumat, head of the sanctuary.

Thai army officer Lt Sivathep Boonlom was injured during the shootout, which briefly occurred in Thai territory about 200m from the Thai-Cambodian border, Sathit said.

Thai authorities arrested one of the five Cambodians and seized an AK-47 rifle, a chainsaw and 35 pieces of ironwood allegedly cut by the Cambodians from the felled trees in the sanctuary area, he said.

The four other Cambodians managed to flee across the border into the Cambodian territory, he said. — Xinhua

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