FEBRUARY 7 2011 17:29h

Thai-Cambodian border shellings in 4th day


THNAL BEK, Cambodia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Cambodia evacuated villages near a disputed temple on the Thai border after a fourth day of shelling Monday, officials said.

As many as five civilians and soldiers had been killed on both sides, The New York Times reported, citing Thai and Cambodian media.

The 11th-century Hindu temple, Preah Vihear, was declared a Cambodian World Heritage site by Unesco in 2008.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the United Nations to send peacekeepers a day after demanding an urgent Security Council meeting to "stop Thailand's aggression."

"We will go to the Security Council whether you like it or not," he told Thailand Monday.

Thailand formally protested "repeated and unprovoked armed attacks by Cambodian troops" to the Security Council Monday.

Cambodia said Thai shelling had damaged the temple, but reporters were barred from the area and could not verify the assertion.

On Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the fighting to stop.

The conflicting claims broke out into combat Friday, with each country accusing the other of shooting first.

The temple was awarded in 1962 to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose government is under pressure from the so-called Yellow Shirts over the issue, said the border dispute can be solved at the bilateral level, the Thai News Agency reported.