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Tourists pour into Preah Vihear

Tourists pour into Preah Vihear

PREAH Vihear temple has seen a flood of tourists in the past few days, a trend officials are attributing to the drawdown of troops there that was completed over the weekend.

Om Phirom, chief of the temple's Heritage Police, said Tuesday that there had been about 200 Cambodian tourists and 50 foreign tourists venturing to the World Heritage site daily for the past four days, adding that the foreigners included Chinese, Japanese and European visitors.

By comparison, he said, the temple received about 100 Cambodian and 50 foreign tourists each month during the 13-month standoff with Thailand over the disputed complex.

"More tourists are visiting Preah Vihear temple now," Om Phirom said. "This increase began a few days ago after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that troops at the temple would be withdrawn."

Hun Sen declared last week that the standoff had effectively ended following a bilateral agreement to withdraw troops.

Sor Thavy, deputy governor of Preah Vihear province, said he had noticed that roads near the temple had seen more traffic in recent days, adding that he was considering strengthening the security presence to protect tourists.

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