>Conflict worsens at Thailand Cambodia border

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Police and villagers block a convoy of nationalist protesters from reaching a disputed ancient temple on the country’s border with Cambodia, 700 km (435 miles) northeast of Bangkok July 17, 2008. A political uproar in Thailand over Cambodia’s listing of the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site has been stoked by anti-government groups seeking to oust Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s shaky ruling coalition.

REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND)

Cambodia’s Prime Minister says the border dispute with Thailand is worsening, and he has called for an immediate withdrawal of Thai troops and protesters.

In a letter to his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Hun Sen says the three-day border stand-off is very bad for relations between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, Thai police had to block nationalist protesters who were trying to rally at the temple that has been at the core of dispute between the two neighbours for decades.

Hundreds of Thai and Cambodian troops are guarding their sides of the border in an effort to prevent an eruption of violence.

The latest tensions flared up when Cambodia won the bid to have the temple listed as a world heritage site, angering Thai nationalists.

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