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Logger shot by Thai troops

Another Cambodian was shot by a Thai soldier on Friday after illegally entering the country to log in the mountainous border area, a Cambodian border official said yesterday.

Sam Samrith, 22, had been shot in the right leg about 3am on Friday after crossing the border from Oddor Meanchey province to Surin province in Thailand, Lor Mithona, deputy director of the Cambodian-Thai border relations office, said.

Sam Samrith had been among a group of eight loggers who crossed the border in Anlong Veng district between border markers 13 and 14, Lor Mithona said, adding that Thai soldiers had opened fire on the group, wounding Sam Samrith and sending the other seven men fleeing back to Cambodia.

“The victim was brought for treatment by Thai authorities to a hospital in Surin province,” Lor Mithona said.

“He will be charged with illegal entry, and we will provide him with legal assistance.”

Srey Naren, co-ordinator of the rights group Adhoc in Oddor Meanchey, said a Cambodian logger had been shot dead and another three wounded last month after they crossed  into Thailand. He called on Thailand to use courts rather than guns to stem the flow of illegal loggers.

The latest shootings follow a complaint to Thailand’s Human Rights Commission by 20 Thai activists, academics and lawyers calling for an investigation into more than 20 alleged extra- judicial killings of Cambodian citizens by Thai soldiers since July, 2009.

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