Situation along Cambodia and Thailand border near Preah Vihear temple remained "calm but tense" on Monday ahead of a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case regarding the hotly-disputed land near the temple between the two countries, said a senior military official.
"It looks calm but tense as both sides' troops are on high alert," Gen. Kong Chan, a senior military official stationed at the Preah Vihear frontline region, told Xinhua over telephone.
"Thai side has built up its troops on its side these days and they have conducted exercises to evacuate villagers from nearby villages," he said.
However, he said the temple is still open to tourists as usual on Monday morning, albeit seen fewer visitors.
Major General Thul Sovan, deputy commander of Preah Vihear Temple frontline region, said Sunday that villagers near the area have dug trenches and bunkers already in case of any unexpected situation.
The Hague-based ICJ will hand down its verdict in the bitter border spat between the two countries over a 4.6-square-km disputed land near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple on Monday at 4:00 pm (Cambodian time) after Cambodia filed a complaint in April 2011.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will address the people of Cambodia with a live broadcast on the state-owned TV after the ICJ 's ruling, Kem Gunawadh, director general of the National Television of Cambodia, wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.
Hun Sen said last Thursday that he and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have agreed that whatever the ICJ's verdict is, the two Southeast Asian nations have to comply with this decision and try to maintain peace and stability along the border at any cost.
He also appealed to all types of armed forces who are on duties to defend the border to keep calm, exercise utmost restraint, and avoid any activities that could lead to tension or clashes.
Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple, is located on the top of a 525- meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, about 500 km northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
The ICJ awarded Cambodia the temple and its vicinity on June 15, 1962, but Thailand claimed the ownership of 4.6 square km of scrub next to the temple in 2008 when Unesco inscribed the temple on the prestigious World Heritage List. The temple had become a flashpoint of armed clashes between the two countries' troops since then.
Hun Sen said in June 2011 that the sporadic clashes left 24 Cambodian civilians and soldiers dead, forced tens of thousands of people to flee homes, and caused serious damages to the temple.
Tensions between the two nations have calmed since July 2011 when Yingluck, the sister of exiled ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, became the Prime Minister of Thailand.
Thaksin and Hun Sen are close friends.