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Cambodians shot by Thai soldiers over alleged logging

Two Cambodians – one of them a military official – were shot by Thai soldiers last week after crossing the border to allegedly carry out illegal logging, according to Cambodia’s National Police.

On June 20, military official Oeun Kosan, 27, and Hon Danit, 17, who live in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district, were allegedly illegally logging rosewood when they were shot, a statement read.

Kosan was shot in the right arm while Danit was hit in his right knee, but both managed to escape to Cambodia.

Kirth Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, said that eight Cambodians were also shot at by Thai soldiers on June 7 after crossing the border illegally. Seven managed to escape, and one is still believed to be missing.

While it was once common for Thai authorities to shoot alleged Cambodian loggers – leading to several strongly worded diplomatic notes from the Cambodian government – recent years have seen a shift towards arresting loggers instead. In 2013, 69 Cambodians were shot fatally by Thai soldiers, but the number dropped to nine in 2014, five in 2015, and only two in 2016.

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