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Land dispute: Threatened villagers protect land

Roughly 100 villagers were allegedly threatened by soldiers brandishing AK-47s yesterday, while attempting to block a company from bulldozing their farms in Kratie province’s Snuol district.

Soun Vicheka, a representative of 136 families in Snuol commune’s Krasaing village, said villagers formed a human chain to prevent Horizon Agriculture Development Co, Ltd from clearing their cassava plantations, after the company had already bulldozed 1,000 square metres of land.

Six soldiers were also present and threatened to shoot the villagers with AK-47 rifles if they did not let the bulldozer through, he added.

Villager Sum Proeung said the standoff did not end in violence, as the company representatives and soldiers left the fields. However, they threatened to shoot any villagers caught attempting to destroy the bulldozer at night, he said.

“We want the company to stop grabbing our land,” he added.

Snuol district governor Iv Sophum said that he had sent his officials to investigate the dispute, but had not yet received a report.

Horizon Agriculture Development Co, Ltd could not be reached for comment yesterday.



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