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Thailand queried over border deaths

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a diplomatic note to Thailand in response to the growing number of Cambodians who have been shot while illegally crossing the border to log or search for work.

Pok Chandara, director of the ministry’s press and documentation department, said Cambodia had sent the note on Tuesday via the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, but declined to comment on the content.

Cambodia has sent many notes in the past to Thailand  condemning its soldiers’ attacks on Cambodian civilians without receiving a response from Thailand.

Touch Ra, director of the border relations office at Oddor Meanchey’s Choam Sangam border checkpoint said Thailand had ignored pleas not to use violence.

“I don’t have the report in hand about the shooting on Cambodian people and I have discussed with them [Thai border officials] many times and asked them not to use violence, but they still did,” he said.

Srey Naren, co-ordinator of rights group Adhoc in Oddor Meanchey province, said already in 2012 eight cases of Thai soldiers shooting Cambodians had caused 12 deaths.

Eleven Cambodians were killed crossing into Thailand to log last year.

“We see the number has increased,” Srey Naren said.

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