FOUR villagers were rushed to hospital following an altercation over land in Preah Sihanouk province between staff members of the Chinese-owned Yie Chea Company and neighbouring residents, a local official said Tuesday.
Lim Sarin, chief of Prey Nub village, confirmed that more than 40 villagers were involved in a three-day protest over land that turned violent after company staff members attacked the demonstrators.
“The company fought them until they were seriously injured, and now they’ve been sent to hospital,” Lim Sarin said.
Company representatives were unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
One of the injured, 68-year-old Chong Heab, said the dispute began after the provincial government gave about 100 hectares of land, some belonging to Prey Nub villagers, to the Yie Chea Company without an offer of compensation.
“It was unfair that the company didn’t pay us any money. Instead they fought me and my son, who nearly died,” she said.
Lim Sarin said he would hold a meeting today to try to resolve the land dispute but held out little hope for success.