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11th Century Temple – A bone of contention
February 10, 2011
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THURSDAY: The 11th-century Preah Vihear temple built to honour the Hindu god Shiva, has been a source of contention between Thailand and Cambodia since it was granted UN World Heritage status in July 2008 ministers.

In border violence at least eight people were killed in four days. Each side blames the other for starting the fighting but both have held fire since the last skirmish early Monday.

Forces High Alert: Thailand and Cambodia are stepping up diplomatic efforts to prevent more fighting along their border. But the two countries accuse each other of using banned weapons in their battles in the past few days near a 900-year old Hindu temple. The two countries exchanged allegations Wednesday over the use of internationally banned cluster bombs. The military confirmed to us that we don’t use this weapon. Number two they also discovered those weapons in the area and they concluded that the weapons and are from Cambodia. The cluster shells were discovered in the area shot by the Cambodian side said Panitan Wattanayagorn the government spokesman. Cambodian and Thai troops remain on high alert with villagers reporting a build up of security forces. But Wednesday there were no reports of new fighting. Hang Ratana the CMAC secretary general says an investigation team has been sent to Sa’em commune in Preah Vihear province. A team had been dispatched to brief civilians over the dangers of the bombs.

UNESCO officials have called for calm and say experts will be sent to assess damage to the temple. But Thailand opposes the UNESCO inspection. The World Court ruled in 1962 that the clifftop structure belonged to Cambodia but both countries claim ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8-square-mile) surrounding area.

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