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Fire victims make deal with govt

NEARLY 300 families who lost their homes in a suspected arson attack in Phnom Penh in April have struck a deal with City Hall that will allow them to remain in the capital, a representative told the Post Thursday.

Officials originally said the victims of the April 16 fire in Tomnup Toek commune should relocate to Kandal province's Ponhea Leu district, but residents wanted land in Dangkor district. City Hall agreed on Wednesday, Toch Sophan said.

For the next 100 days, the 288 families will each save US$1 a day. They will then contribute $100 each to the purchase, with City Hall covering the rest. "By December, the residents must have $100. Otherwise, they will not receive land in Dangkor," he said.

Horm Neun, another representative, said the families had entered the agreement voluntarily and had been told by officials that they would still receive the land in Kandal if the Dangkor plan fell through.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun, the City Hall official who generally handles eviction cases, could not be reached by the Post for comment on Thursday.

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