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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF finally hit Pol Pot

RCAF finally hit Pol Pot

PARTIALLY EXHUMED... BY EXTREME FORCE

The Royal Cambodian army has finally achieved in Pol Pot's death what they could never do in his life. They put a bullet in him.

The charred bones of the former despot were initially covered by his wife with earth, on the site where he was cremated.

But an RCAF artillery round recently exploded close by and tore a hole in the mound, scattering some of the man's bones around the field near his house in Choam, on Mountain 200.

His wife had put up a rough shelter to try and protect her hus-band's remains but that is now destroyed and with it Pol Pot's final wish that his ashes be scattered at three sites throughout Cambodia: the Tonle Sap, Rata-nakiri and the Dangrek mountains.

Gathering the bones together would be a hazardous task. The area is heavily mined. It had been under RCAF control for three days when the Post visited.

Pol Pot has become an attraction for the soldiers. Many high-ranking officers made the trek to the funeral site including Division 11 deputy commander Uy Sop-heap and Region 4 deputy commander General Keo They.

Khmer Rouge defector and former commander Roeun led the group along the track to the clearing where there stood three houses, a small farm and the defiled pyre.

Rouen said he knew this was the right place because he had seen it on television.

"I remember seeing this tree on TV," he said, pointing at a large shrub. "And here was where his wife was sitting and here was where his daughter sat so this is exactly Pol Pot's pyre."

CHOAM'S NEW CHIEFS

A posse of RCAF generals

Roeun believes that the disruption of Pol Pot's remains happened because of what he did when he was alive.

"Pol Pot is a bad guy so even when he was dead he got hit by shrapnel. If Pol Pot was here at the time he would have been killed by the bomb too."

 Now, aside from the remains of the house and the scattered bones, the only trace of Pol Pot is his garden. Pineapple, papaya, green beans and cucumber still grow amidst the wreckage, though it is likely they too will soon all be gone - dinner for the new RCAF masters of Mountain 200.

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