Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Alleged rosewood loggers shot dead by Thai troops

Alleged rosewood loggers shot dead by Thai troops

Three Cambodians were shot and killed early on Saturday morning after engaging in a firefight while illegally logging along the Thai border, officials said yesterday.

The three are believed to have been shot after crossing from Battambang’s Samlot district into Thai territory while logging luxury rosewood.  

Ti Sokha, chief of Cambodia-Thailand border relations in neighbouring Pailin, said the loggers were likely to blame.

“The loggers were encountered by Thai patrollers while cutting timber in Thailand, and they opened fire at the Thai side first after being asked to stop cutting. However, Thai patrollers fired back and killed them, and one Thai patroller was injured too,” Sokha said.

The men were armed with semi-automatic rifles, deputy provincial police commander Em Dara said. He gave a slightly differing account, saying the Thai soldiers shot in the air “to threaten the Cambodians”, at which point the loggers opened fire.   

They were accompanied by three other men, one of them a soldier, who have since been allowed to return home.  

Although official numbers have not been updated, dozens of Cambodians have been shot on the border this year.

As of July, government statistics put the figure at 38 – far eclipsing the 15 who were shot dead in 2011, a record number at the time.  

Exacerbated by rising prices and a growing scarcity of timber within Cambodia’s borders, the bloody logging situation shows little signs of abating despite heightened attempts by officials to warn people away from the border.

There have been scores of illegal logging deaths at the borders of Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces in recent years, but few, if any, recorded in Battambang.

The prevalence of illegal crossings to cut timber had  spread to Stung Treng in spite of active intervention by police, officials said yesterday.

Va Sophan, the police chief of Seam Pang district, said that in the past week alone, 16 people had been arrested on the Lao side, 11 of whom had been released so far.

Rights workers have pointed out repeatedly that insufficient opportunities within Cambodia lead workers to take desperate risks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at



Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Turkish Embassy calls for closure of Zaman schools

With an attempted coup against the government of President Recep Erdogan quashed only days ago and more than 7,000 alleged conspirators now under arrest, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia yesterday pressed the govern

CNRP lawmakers beaten

Two opposition lawmakers, Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sakphea were beaten unconscious during protests in Phnom Penh, as over a thousand protesters descended upon the National Assembly.

Student authors discuss "The Cambodian Economy"

Student authors discuss "The Cambodian Economy"

Students at Phnom Penh's Liger Learning Center have written and published a new book, "The Cambodian Economy".