Travel Alert: Cambodia: Troops fire at Bangkok Airways plane near disputed border!
BANGKOK, July 12, 2012 (AFP) - Cambodian troopsfired shots at a passenger aircraft flying near the country's disputed borderwith Thailand, believing it to be a spy plane, the Thai army said Thursday.
"The Cambodian military fired because there was a Thai passenger plane --Bangkok Airways -- which could not land at Siem Reap airport because of badweather," said deputy army spokesman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong.
"It was misunderstood by Cambodia to be spy plane," he said, addingthat no one was hurt in the incident near the northern Cambodian touristdestination of Siem Reap.
Cambodian military at the border -- the site of deadly territorial clashesbetween the neighbouring countries last year -- confirmed troops had openedfire at an aircraft.
"It was dark so we could not see what type of plane it was. But it wascircling many times and then our soldiers fired 18 shots from a machine gun,but it missed the plane because it was flying very high," Commander SengPhearin told AFP.
"I think a passenger plane would not fly around the border. We suspectedit was a spy plane, so we fired to defend our airspace," he said, addingthe aircraft had been around 10 kilometres (six miles) inside Cambodia.
He said the incident happened at 19:00 local time (1200GMT) on Wednesday,although the Thai authorities said it occurred Thursday morning.
AFP was unable to immediately contact Bangkok Airways.
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