Did the Cambodian Army Really Kill 88 Thai Soldiers?

Is it really possible that Cambodian troops have killed 88 of their Thai counterparts over the past couple of years? The alleged deaths have taken place near to the Preah Vihear temple complex in Cambodia, whose ownership is contested by the fascist PAD movement and some other extremists.

According to General Chea Tara, 38 Thai soldiers were killed in October 2008 and another 50 in April 2009. At the same time, only two Cambodian troops were killed.

Can this be true? Well, first of all I would not want to argue with any Cambodian troops – they may not always be highly educated and equipped and so forth but they come from a modern history of incredible violence and death.

Secondly, the Thai military and aristocracy-establishment certainly seems capable of hiding deaths for which it is responsible – consider the mysteriously disappearing containers of human remains found off the coast a few months ago.

What does seem unlikely is that 88 Thais could have died while only two Cambodians were killed. If the general had said there were these large numbers of casualties on both sides, it would appear more likely to me. Then again, what do I know about anything?