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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Body of man gunned down by Thai troops returned to family

Body of man gunned down by Thai troops returned to family

The 28-year-old was killed in a cross-border drug deal gone wrong

that also wounded a Thai trooper, police say, promising investigation

FRONTIER JUSTICE

Poipet

border authorities say the last shooting of a Cambodian near the border

occurred two years ago when a man was killed by Thai police while

attempting to cross through an illegal corridor often used by

smugglers.

THE body of a Cambodian man reportedly

killed by Thai soldiers while trying to make a drug deal across the

border from Banteay Meanchey province's O'Chrov district was

repatriated Thursday.

Police said that Hel Touch, 28, from Prek Chan village, O'Beichoarn

commune, was trying to deal narcotics with Thai soldiers when he was

shot Tuesday night. His two accomplices escaped, provincial police

commissioner Hun Hean told the Post.

Hun Hean said that Hel Touch tried to kill three Thai soldiers by

throwing a grenade at them after the deal went bad. The grenade

explosion wounded Hel Touch and slightly hurt one of the soldiers, who

then fatally shot the Cambodian, Hun Hean added. 

"We are still not sure about the accuracy of the Thai authority's

report. We will investigate it more thoroughly," said Sam Chit, Banteay

Meanchey province's deputy police chief.He added that Thai police had

said the desceased and his accomplices were also involved in smuggling

stolen motorbikes and cars. 

Hel Touch's body was handed over to Cambodian authorities at the Poipet

border crossing, where relatives were waiting to bring the him to their

village for a funeral ceremony, according to Tim Sareth, deputy chief

of the Thai-Cambodian Relations Office. 

Chhouk Ang, commander of Border Police Battalion 911 stationed north of

Poipet, did not attribute the killing to military tensions along the

border.

He said the situation has been normal despite the standoff between Cambodia and Thailand over disputed territory.

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