A 14-year-old girl was shot dead this morning by heavily armed officials who opened fire on a group of about 1,000 families they were sent to evict in Kratie province, military police have confirmed.
A man who identified himself as a military police official but refused to give his name, said his forces had no choice but to fire on the villagers who were violently defying an order to vacate their land.
Heng Chantha, 14, was killed while two other villagers were injured and four arrested during the incident that took place in Prama village, Kampong Damrei commune.
About 200 heavily armed military police officials assisted by a helicopter stormed the village in the eviction operation before an unknown number of them opened fire.
Military police have blocked off the area and are allowing no one in.
The villagers were being evicted from the area to make way for agro-business company Casotim, military police and rights groups said.
The fatal shooting follows the slaying of Chut Wutty last month and several other incidents this year already in which guns have been used against defiant villagers or protesters.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at firstname.lastname@example.org