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Angry villagers block provincial hall

More than 100 villagers blocked a provincial hall in Banteay Meanchey province yesterday morning, while demanding the governor intervene in a land dispute.

Ouk Bang, 66, village representative of O’Beichoan commune in O’Chrou district, said 246 families claim a high-ranking official took their land and sold it to a private company last year.

He added that the families have been living on a disputed land, an area that encompasses more than 1,000 hectares, since 1999.

Villagers blocked the road in front of provincial hall for about three hours, demanding a resolution after representatives were denied access to governor Ung Oeun.

“We eventually met with the district governor who asked us to return home without offering us a solution,” said Ouk Bang.

Ouk Keo Ratanak, a spokesman for provincial hall, said the villagers returned home after they were assured that the governor will take action after the King’s birthday.

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