Cambodian police say Thai soldiers shot and killed three Cambodians who were illegally logging across the border on Thai soil.

The Samlot district police chief, Ly Bouy, says six Cambodians were taking a break from logging rosewood a few hundred meters (yards) from the border when the soldiers opened fire.

He said Monday that three were killed and three managed to run away during the weekend incident.

Thai police official Kampan Runapat said a special forestry task force composed of soldiers, police, rangers and local officials was patrolling the border area in Trat province on Saturday when it came across the illegal loggers. He said the loggers opened fire, triggering a 10-minute shootout in which three loggers were killed.

Illegal timber harvesting is common in the border area.