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Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 12:18 UK

Thai-Cambodia stand-off continues

Visitors walk at the temple on 13 July 2008
Both Thailand and Cambodia claim territory that surrounds the temple

Officials from Thailand and Cambodia have called for dialogue as a military stand-off at an ancient border temple enters its second day.

Two hundred Thai and 380 Cambodian troops are said to be deployed at Preah Vihear temple, which sits on disputed territory along the border.

The build-up happened after Cambodia said Thai troops had crossed to its territory - a charge Thailand denies.

It comes days after Unesco listed the temple as a World Heritage Site.

The International Court awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962, but areas around it remain the subject of an ongoing border dispute.

The Unesco move has reignited nationalist tensions, particularly in Thailand. Opposition forces are using the issue to attack the government - which initially backed the heritage listing.

'Misunderstanding'

The stand-off began on Tuesday, when Cambodian guards arrested three Thai protesters.

Map

Thai troops then began crossing the border, Cambodia said. Thai military officials say their troops are deployed in Thai territory.

On Wednesday, as troop numbers increased, officials from both sides sought to defuse the situation.

"I think it's better to say this is some kind of misunderstanding," Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said, when asked if the incident constituted a Thai invasion.

The soldiers were interacting peacefully at the site, he said.

Thai army commander General Anupong Paojinda, meanwhile, called for dialogue to resolve the row.

"There should be negotiations between the two countries. The problem has been unaddressed for a long time because there has been no demarcation of the border yet," he said.

"I want the problem to be solved, and the solution must be accepted by both countries."

Local residents are reported to have left the site but so far the only casualty of the stand-off is a Thai soldier injured by a landmine - likely left over from when the Khmer Rouge occupied the site.


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SEE ALSO
Thailand foreign minister quits
10 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Tranquil temple at centre of a storm
22 May 08 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Preah Vihear
22 May 08 |  In Pictures
Heritage bid unites border rivals
04 Mar 08 |  Special Reports
Country profile: Cambodia
17 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Thailand
28 Feb 08 |  Country profiles


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