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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR defector tells of plan to isolate Kampot

KR defector tells of plan to isolate Kampot

AKHMER Rouge soldier, who defected to the government during the Kampot train attack, described the KR's strategy in an interview with the Post on July 30.

Ly Sok, 41, said: " On May 27 a high KR official from the Thai Cambodian border came to the KR Kampot headquarters at Vine Mountain and discussed KR strategy.

"The strategy was to isolate and cut all communications into and out of Kampot, including attacking trains and blowing up bridges, with a view to increasing the KR sphere of influence in the region.

He said: "The train attack led by KR commander Rhin Chea was conducted to boost morale amongst the soldiers which was low because of food and material shortages.

During the attack it was reported the KR took three vehicles, 50 motos, pigs, chickens and rice.

Sok said: "The KR took the motos and chickens to boost morale."

He said the KR would ask for a bulldozer for each hostage or other earth moving equipment to flatten the land which was mountainous making it difficult to plant crops.

"I think the hostages will be well looked after. I saw the American girl [Melissa Himes] and they looked after her well."

He added that he expected the KR would demand ransoms for the rich local people they abducted.

Sok said he was taken hostage by the KR in June last year on a previous

train attack. "I have been tending cattle for them ever since. I tried to work hard for the KR so that I wouldn't be killed. But I couldn't escape because I was very well guarded.

"I was ordered by my commanders to take part in the attack and that's when I formulated my plan to escape."

Sok says that during the July 28 raid he escaped while other soldiers were busy attacking the train. He claimed he killed four KR soldiers with an AK-47 during his escape.

Sok said: "The KR always claim they are nationalists and love the people, but as I know, they are so brutal. They do not say they are sorry for any of the killing of Khmer people."

He explained that the KR always educated their soldiers to hate city people, especially the people who were working for the government.

Sok said: "The KR use their proverb 'if we want to cut a tree we have to cut all its roots' to destroy all the government infrastructure.

"To justify the killing they like to say any government authority has a Khmer body, but a Vietnamese head."



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