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Thai police shoot, kill illegal logger

The body of a Cambodian man was sent back to his hometown in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district yesterday after he was shot dead by Thai police after crossing the border with 10 others to cut luxury timber in Thailand, police said.

Chuk Sok, police chief of Choam Ksan district’s Choam Ksan commune, said villager Tob Sok, 24, was shot dead by Thai police on Sunday evening, and that his 10 companions were still hiding in the forest.

“Now the body has been sent to Cambodian police to send to his family for cremation after Thai police shot him to death while they logged timber on the Thai border. His family took the body,” he said. “Anyway, the 10 other villagers escaped to hide in the wild to wait to come back home safely.”

District police chief Dam Yin said he had told his officers to continue to look into the case.

“I ordered my forces to examine this case to learn the reasons [it happened], and to find the other villagers who escaped to safety,” he said.

Lor Chan, a coordinator with the rights group Adhoc, said that his organisation had recorded at least two incidents of Cambodians being shot by Thai authorities this year in Preah Vihear province, and that eight such instances had been recorded in 2012.

“Cambodian villagers are still attacked by Thai police officers when they cross illegally, and the Cambodian residents still illegally cross even if they know that it is dangerous,” he said.

According to the Cambodian-Thai border relations office, 45 Cambodians were shot dead by Thai authorities in 2012.

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