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UN chief urges restraint after latest Thai-Cambodian border clashes

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday voiced concern about repeated armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand around their common border, and called on both sides to exercise restraint and resolve their dispute through dialogue.

The clashes that occurred between 4 and 6 February has reportedly claimed a number of lives, and led to the displacement of civilians and destruction of property, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.

�The Secretary-General appeals to both sides to put in place an effective arrangement for cessation of hostilities and to exercise maximum restraint,� it stated.

�He also calls on them to continue their efforts to finding a lasting solution to their dispute through established mechanisms and arrangements and a spirit of dialogue and good neighbourly relations.�

Tensions escalated between the South-East Asian neighbours in July 2008 following the build-up of military forces near the Preah Vihear Temple in Cambodia.

The temple, which dates back to the 11th century, was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) earlier that month.

Today's statement reiterated the UN's readiness to assist in peaceful efforts to resolve the dispute.

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