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Preah Vihear locals hold pair accused of hunting

Two men caught hunting illegally in a community forest in Sangkum Thmei district in Preah Vihear using an AK-47 borrowed from police were detained briefly by local villagers on Saturday.

Pao Yak, the leader of a community in Sdao commune, said he heard 12 gunshots while patrolling the local forest on Friday night and enlisted the community members’ help to look for the shooters in the morning. “After we heard the shooting, we called villagers to come help look for the shooter,” he said.

The locals found the hunters’ motorbike and waited for them to return. After discovering the pair were a doctor and teacher known in the commune, the villagers let them go, but only after confiscating the AK-47. The hunters said they had borrowed it from heritage police.

Villagers returned the rifle to the heritage police later that day. Sangkum Thmei district police chief Toul Moeun said he sent a report about the incident to the provincial prosecutor and was deferring action until the prosecutor replied with instructions.

The alleged hunters could not be reached for comment.

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