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Cambodians accused of illegal Thai logging

Eleven Cambodian men were arrested in Thailand on Monday for illegal logging, and nine more are missing in connection with such cases, said sources in Oddar Meanchey province.

The logging is allegedly taking place in Thailand's Khun Han district, Sisaket province, across the border from Oddar Meanchey's Trapaing Prasat district in Cambodia, a provincial official said.

"Thai military officials told me that 11 Cambodian men were arrested by Thai authorities as they were logging in Thai territory, and a number of other men have gone missing since the start of the logging crackdown," Touch Ra, deputy chief of the Thailand-Cambodia relations office at the Chom international border gate, said Wednesday.

Bun Pin, a member of the Trapaing Prasat district council, was angry with Thai soldiers who are rumoured to have shot at Cambodian loggers.

"Thai armed forces should not use guns to shoot unarmed people," he said. "They should use the law to punish them when they are arrested and found guilty."

Chhoun Ra, 41, of Trapaing Prasat said her son, 20-year-old Pov Poy, is among the missing.

"I am very worried for my son's safety," she said. "I don't know whether he is alive, dead, injured or arrested."

Officials at Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday that they were unaware of this situation and unprepared to comment.



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