Deadly Border Dispute Between Thailand and Cambodia as presented by: Sacramento Bee

A historic temple that was the scene of artillery battles between Cambodia and Thailand appears to have suffered minimal damage, as journalists used a fragile truce Tuesday to inspect the site. Four days of shelling in the disputed border region blackened hillsides surrounding Preah Vihear temple and shrapnel from the blasts chipped away at some of the sanctuary's ancient walls, but the damage was light and the structure remained intact. The two nations have clashed several times in the area since 2008, when the U.N. declared Preah Vihear a World Heritage site. But the latest skirmishes were the most intense yet, marking the first time artillery and mortars have been used, according to soldiers and locals. The temple - located just several hundred feet (meters) from the border with Thailand - has fueled nationalism in both countries for decades. Thai children rest after being evacuated from their homes located close to the Cambodian border, in the Kathararak district of Thailand's Si Sa Ket province on February 8, 2011. A Cambodian solider guards the grounds of the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple as tensions remain high on both sides of the border, on February 8, 2011 in Preah Vihear, Cambodia. Thai anti-war demonstrators light candles and sing songs outside Victory Monument Monday, Feb. 7, 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand. Cambodia called for U.N. peacekeepers to help end the fighting along its tense border with Thailand, where artillery fire echoed for a fourth day Monday near an 11th century temple classified as a World Heritage Site.


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