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Cambodia Says More Thai Military Forces Cross Border


Cambodian officials say more Thai troops have crossed the border as a standoff triggered by a long-standing dispute over an ancient temple heads into a second day Wednesday.

Cambodian officials say 200 Thai soldiers have entered the country since Tuesday, when three Thai activists were arrested for illegally entering Cambodia to reach the 11th century Preah Vihear temple. The activists have since been released to Thai authorities.

Thai officials say their soldiers have not crossed into Cambodia and are patrolling the border. Cambodia has also deployed hundreds of troops in the area.

The Hindu temple, which sits along the Thai-Cambodian border, has long been source of dispute between the Asian neighbors. The International Court of Justice granted sovereignty of the temple to Cambodia in 1962.

The latest tensions began after the United Nations' cultural organization (the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO) designated the temple as a World Heritage Site.

Thailand's foreign minister was forced to resign last week over his initial decision to endorse Cambodia's bid to have the site declared a world landmark.

Opposition forces in Thailand have used the dispute to stoke nationalist fervor and increase their efforts to oust the government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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