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Man dies fleeing Thai authorities

A 40-year-old Cambodian man’s body was found in a Thai national park after he slipped and fell down a mountain evading capture by Thai police last month, according to an announcement by the Cambodian Embassy on Wednesday.

The man, named only as Phal, was reported to have died from head trauma incurred in the fall on July 27. A group of other Cambodians he had been travelling with were arrested in Nokhom Ratchasima Province Forest for illegally entering Thailand.

His body is being kept at Moharat Hospital in the same province while authorities wait for relatives to collect the body.

However, Ly Bo, a police officer at a border liaison office in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district, yesterday said Phal was a Khmer Rouge veteran with no surviving family, who had recently moved in to the Malai pagoda as a lay resident.

The news of Phal’s death came as another report by the embassy announced that 78 Cambodians had been arrested in Thailand this year, of whom 55 are still behind bars.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry said yesterday the Bangkok embassy is urging Thai authorities to send arrested Cambodians to trial as quickly as possible.

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