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Death and stolen cars in Thai-Khmer firefight

A FIREFIGHT on Oct 28 between RCAF soldiers and Thai

rangers that left four Cambodians dead and a Thai wounded

may well have been over stolen cars.

Resistance leader Nhek Bun Chhay said the soldiers

were former Khmer Rouge from Division 23 in Anlong Veng.

He said the soldiers wandered into the Thai refugee camp

of Phuo Noi to take their families living there back to

Cambodia.

This part of the story was independently confirmed by

Huot Chheang, the deputy chief of operations for RCAF

General Staff.

However, their versions on why the returning RCAF

soldiers got into their deadly battle with the Thai

rangers differs.

Bun Chhay said the group was attacked by Ta Mok

soldiers, which in turn alerted Thai rangers stationed

nearby who fired, thinking they were fighting hardline KR

insurgents.

No, said Huot Chheang: "Some of our brother

defectors in Anlong Veng missed their families who were

living in the camp in Thailand. They went to bring them

back.

"But when they did not have any transport they

halted some Thais who were driving by [and stole their

vehicles]," he said, chuckling.

When the soldiers tried to return to Cambodia Thai

soldiers stopped them and the fight broke out, he said.

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