A teenager was killed and a man was badly injured on Friday while they were illegally clearing forest land for an unidentified businessman on the border of Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, officials said.
Kam Dek villagers Chhoun Pourn, 17, and Kam Yun, 40, were caught under a felled tree, according to commune chief , Chea Norm.
“The deceased was crushed by the tree and his ribs and thighs were broken.… The other victim’s nose was injured and bleeding,” said Pan Vuth, husband of the commune chief, adding that the businessman had paid compensation.
Since the accident, 11 loggers from the village have returned from clearing state forest, worried they too could get hurt, Norm added.
“They were employed to clear forest for some $200 per hectare,” said Hem Sarath, a police officer in Stung Treng district who added some of his villagers – including his relatives – were employed to log.
Hou Sam Ol, Stung Treng provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said illegal forest clearing along the border has been happening for years.
“The officers collude with the employers and businessmen.… Some log timber and sell to land concession companies,” he said.