The temporary stalls leading from the Preah Vihear gate sign down to the former border gate with Thailand
Whilst Cambodia and Thailand dispute the numbers of casualties and who fired first, one of the outcomes from yesterday's two gun-battles around Preah Vihear
temple was the loss of the ramshackle market stalls at the foot of the temple's causeway stairs and close to the former border gate into Thailand. A military commander reported, ".. the market was burned down during the fighting," and a market vendor said, "all of my clothes have completely burned. Thai soldiers shelled this market with the intention of destroying the shelter of civilians." The original market at the site had been closed a while ago and was surrounded with corrugated metal sheeting when I was there last week though a series of temporary stalls had sprung up along the path towards the Thai border and a couple of vendors, who were family members of soldiers on duty, were selling catfish, meat and vegetables alongwith beer and soft drinks. I'm presuming their customers were the soldiers themselves as we were the only tourists we saw during more than three hours at the temple. If the stalls and the original market were hit by mortar shells then I can understand the whole place going up in flames pretty quickly and as such it would be an easy target to cause the most damage.
The stalls at the foot of the main causeway steps leading up to Preah Vihear temple Posing at the foot of the causeway steps under the Preah Vihear sign last week. I'm glad I wasn't trying to get this picture taken yesterday. The flattened market behind this Khmer soldier is all that remains
Labels: Preah Vihear