Bangkok: A Thai soldier was killed in fresh fighting with Cambodian troops, raising the death toll to 18, the army said on Tuesday. Though the ongoing fight for the two disputed temples on the border showed some sign of easing tensions.
 
A Thai army spokesman Colonel Sukit Subanjui told that three more Thai troops were wounded in the skirmishes on Monday and early Tuesday.

"Both rounds of fighting involved assault rifles and mortars," he said.

Despite the continued recurrences of clashes, the situation had improved enough on Monday for many of the 85,000 civilians who had sought refuge in temporary camps or temples on both sides to return home.

Eight soldiers from Thai troops and nine Cambodian soldiers have died since April 22 in the conflict around two disputed temples on the border. Bangkok has said a Thai civilian was also killed and some homes were damaged on both sides.

An attempted ceasefire announced on Thursday after military-level negotiations proved short-lived, but the fighting has since become less intense and appears to be confined to a smaller area away from civilian populations.

(Agencies)