Six Kratie province residents returned to Cambodia on Saturday two days after Laotian soldiers allegedly fired shots at the group for trespassing, wounding one man in the process. Sun Ban, a battalion commander with the Cambodian military, said a group of nine Cambodians entered Laos on January 20 from Stung Treng province’s Siem Bang district. That evening, he said, Laotian soldiers fired at the group, which separated into two groups as they fled. “The six people are safe now, but being afraid of gunshots from the Laos military, they fled into the forest,” said Sun Bun. “We are not sure why they had gone to Laos territory, but they may have gone there for illegal logging”. Sun Ban said that one man suffered a serious wound to his shoulder and was being treated at a hospital in Kratie province. After shots were allegedly fired by the Laos military, one group of three was able to cross the border into Cambodia that evening, while the other six got lost in the Laotian forest, where they remained for two days until returning on Saturday. Sy Suon, Siem Bang district governor, said his district had not yet contacted Laos officials. “I haven’t discussed with Laos over the gunshots ... because the border officials of both countries are in charge of the case [separately],” he said.
Border troubles: Villagers say Laos troops fired on them