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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR release hostages for ransom

KR release hostages for ransom

SEVEN Thai quarry workers were freed after being held hostage for 24 hours by the

Khmer Rouge in a mountain area in Kompong Speu province.

A Thai Embassy official said the hostages were freed on the night of May 9 after

their employer paid an unspecified ransom.

The seven Thais were among 11 kidnapped on May 8, when rebels wearing RCAF uniforms

attacked the Aphiwar Sila company, a rock crushing company, in Phnom Cheal about

9 km east of the provincial town.

Hostage Soeung Sambo, 18, said: "I was repairing a company car, then I heard

shooting. Other people ran and so did I... The Thais called out to me 'get in the

car and go home'." He said he got in the car which drove toward Kompong Speu,

only to be met by a band of Khmer Rogue.

Government troops at a camp nearby exchanged gunfire with the rebels who escaped

in three cars with the hostages.

The KR stopped at Prey Viev village about 7 km south of the company site. Later that

morning Sambo and three Thais workers - one man and two women - were freed. The abductors

demanded $350,000 for the remaining seven hostages.

The seven spent a night as hostages with the rebels, and were released the following

afternoon.

The attack was due to the Royal army's "recklessness", conceded Colonel

Pul Seiha of 3rd military region, who added that the guerrillas belonged to KR division

305.

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