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10 loggers still missing after Thai raid: villagers

ODDAR Meanchey province villagers said that at least 10 Cambodian men are still missing after a Thai crackdown on illegal logging last week, though provincial officials said they did not know of any who remain unaccounted for.

Eleven Cambodian men were arrested in Thailand last week in an incident that villagers and officials said turned violent, with Thai soldiers firing weapons at the scene. The loggers are currently awaiting trial at a prison in Thailand's Khun Han district, Sisaket province.

Chhoun Ra, 41, of Oddar Meanchey's Trapaing Prasat district, said that Pol Ben, her 20-year-old son, had not been seen since last week. She named nine other men from several provinces who she claimed were missing as well.

"I've asked local authorities, military officers and policemen to help find the missing men, but they all seem to ignore us," she said.

Leu Chandara, deputy chief of the Thailand-Cambodia relations office at the Chom border gate, said that he believed there were no longer any such cases.

"I have not heard that there are still missing men. I only know of the 11 men who are imprisoned," he said.

Vann Kosal, governor of Trapaing Prasat district, also said he had not heard of any men who remained missing. Officials acknowledged last week that five men were missing and that a search was ongoing.

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