The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday agreed to deploy Indonesian observers in both Cambodia and Thailand along the disputed stretch of their border near the mediaeval Preah Vihear Hindu temple. This was announced by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa after an urgent ASEAN ministerial meeting in Jakarta.

Sporadic but intense firing across the Thai-Cambodian border in recent weeks claimed at least five lives, with unofficial estimates being higher.

Indonesia is the current Chair of ASEAN, while Thailand and Cambodia are also in the 10-member group.

While the temple was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962 and a United Nations-sponsored panel more recently declared the place of worship as a world heritage site, the Thai-Cambodian border in the temple vicinity has remained in dispute.

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