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It was Sub Lt Thanapol Sukprasert’s first experience in a real battle and it is one he won’t forget. 

A soldier from the Northeast holds up a sheet of cloth inscribed with a yantra given by a monk who travelled from Bangkok to offer the talisman to boost the morale of troops deployed in the border area. WASSANA NANUAM

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Story from the war zone

Thanapol: We came under heavy fire

It was Sub Lt Thanapol Sukprasert’s first experience in a real battle and it is one he won’t forget.

"About 40 Cambodian troops raided our base, starting by shelling us with the 120mm mortars," the leader of the 2312 Rifle Platoon from Nakhon Ratchasima said.

The Thai soldiers have been stationed for some time northwest of Preah Vihear temple in the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area on a hill known by the Cambodian name of "Satta Som".

"The Cambodian troops aimed to take over Satta Som," Sub Lt Thanapol said.

He said that during the clashes, the Cambodians fired BM-21 rockets and mortar shells which produced a thunderous noise and powerful reverberations that caused him chest pains.

Shrapnel hit him in the right cheek, piercing it, and hurting a middle finger.

"I still have to do my duty as platoon leader and will not abandon my subordinates. We have to fight to protect our land," he said.

Sub Lt Thanapol is from Surin and a member of Class 41 of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, graduating not long ago.

Sgt Maj 1st Class Phaisal Cherdchu, 48, who is from Roi Et and a member of an artillery unit that has just left the Phu Ma Khua area, said the clashes were the most serious he has experienced.

"Several hundred rockets and artillery shells were fired at us, creating a loud noise and choking smoke," he said.

The Thai troops retaliated, firing off as many rounds as were fired at them.

Sgt Maj Phaisal, who wears a necklace with an amulet from Luang Pu Chiam, a revered monk in Ubon Ratchathani, said he had left the disputed area for a short break and would go back soon.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Wassana Nanuam

inscribe – to write or cut words, your name, etc. onto something สลัก, จารึก, เขียนมอบ
talisman – an object that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck  เครื่องราง, สิ่งนำโชค
boost – to increase เพิ่ม
boost the morale – to increase the amount of enthusiasm that a person or group of people feel about their situation at a particular time สร้่างขวัญกำลังใจ
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
deploy – (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action ส่ง (ทหารตำรวจ) ประจำการ
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
battle – a fight between two armies in a war การสู้รบ
raid – a short surprise attack on an enemy  การจู่โจม,การโจมตี
base – a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates from [N] ฐานทัพ, ฐานที่มั่น
shell – to attack by firing guns, cannons, etc.  ระดมยิง
mortar – a large short gun that is used for firing bombs and shells over short distances ปืนครก
rifle – a large gun with a long barrel that you hold against your shoulder to fire ปืนยาว, ปืนไรเฟิล
platoon – a small group of soldiers that is part of a company and commanded by a lieutenant หมวดทหาร
station – to cause, especially soldiers, to be in a particular place to do a job ตั้งฐานปฎิบัติการ,ตั้งประจำ
disputed area – an area claimed by two or more countries, groups or people  พื้นที่ที่เป็นกรณีพิพาท
hill – an area of land that is higher than the land around it, but not as high as a mountain  เนิน, เขาเตี้ยๆ, ดอน
aim – to have as your purpose or goal   มีเป้าหมาย  มีจุดมุ่งหมาย      
clash – a brief fight between two or more people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
shell – a weapon consisting of a metal container filled with a substance that explodes, fired from a large gun กระสุนปืนใหญ่
thunderous – very loud ดังสนั่น,มีเสียงกังวาน
reverberations – a loud noise that continues for some time after it has been produced because of the surfaces around it เสียงดังที่สะท้อนไปมา
chest – the upper front part of the body of humans and some animals, between the stomach and the neck, containing the heart and lungs หน้าอก
shrapnel – small pieces of metal that fly out of a bomb or bullet when it explodes เศษ กระสุนดาวกระจาย,กระสุนลูกแตก,เศษกระสุน
pierce – to go into or through something, making a hole in it using a sharp point แทง, ทิ่ม, ปัก, เสียบ, เจาะ
abandon – to leave a person or group that you are with  ละทิ้ง
subordinate – someone who has less power or authority than someone else ผู้ใต้บังคับบัญชา
academy – an organisation intended to protect and develop an art, science, language, etc., or a school which teaches a particular subject or trains people for a particular job วิทยาลัย(เฉพาะด้าน) สถานศึกษา, สถาบันการศึกษา
graduate – to get a degree from a university or college; to complete a course in education, especially at high school  ได้รับปริญญา,สำเร็จการศึกษา
artillery – large powerful guns that are used by an army and are moved on wheels or fixed in one place ปืนใหญ่
choking – making it difficult for you to breathe ทำให้หายใจไม่ออก
retaliate – to do something harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have done something harmful or unpleasant to you ตอบโต้ แก้แค้น
round – a bullet or a shot that is fired from a weapon นัด(กระสุน) ชุดยิง
necklace – a piece of jewellery consisting of a chain, string of beads, etc. worn around the neck สร้อยคอ
amulet – a small object that some people wear around their neck as a protection against evil, bad luck, disease etc เครื่องราง
revered – highly respected and admired ซึ่งแสดงความเคารพนับถือ

Related search: Cambodia Thailand border clashes

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