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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thais ‘refuse to return dead Cambodians’

Thais ‘refuse to return dead Cambodians’

Thai authorities have refused to give families back the bodies of three Cambodians shot while allegedly logging illegally in Thailand, instead deciding to cremate them, the father of one of the deceased said yesterday.

Police said yesterday three men from Samrong town’s Bansay Reak commune in Oddar Meanchey province were shot one week ago in Thailand.

Chan Try, 62, the father of 32-year-old victim Try Sambo, said when he went to Thailand yesterday to retrieve his dead son, Thai soldiers said they had wanted to burn the body first.

“They showed us the picture of the corpse and I could recognise that my son was killed,” he said. “Thai soldiers said they wanted to burn them in Thailand. We want to take the body for cremation in Cambodia and to hold a funeral ceremony.”

His son was shot a week ago after he left for Thailand with his brother-in-law, Mu Son, and two other men, Chan Try said.

A border relations official based at O’Smach International Border Crossing in Oddor Meanchey province, who helped facilitate an agreement for the repatriation of the bodies but declined to be named, said Thai officials had promised to return the bodies yesterday.

“But when we arrived to pick them up, they did not bring them and said wait for few more days,” he said.

Meanwhile, two victims who were shot when Thai troops allegedly opened fire on a group of Cambodians after they discovered them illegally logging in Thai territory on the weekend were hospitalised today.

The men were shot on Saturday and Sunday after crossing into Thailand with an unknown number of others from Trapaing Prasat district’s O’Svay commune in Oddar Meanchey province, police said.

Lim Te, Ou Svay commune police chief, said yesterday one victim, 22-year-old Lim Seiha, had been sent to Anlong Veng hospital after he crossed into Thailand from Tomnuk Aphiwat on Saturday.

“We warned the villagers repeatedly not to log like this, but they never listen to us. It is difficult to stop them because the village borders Thailand,” he said.

One of the group remained missing while another man who was shot in the same area on Sunday was sent to Siem Reap hospital yesterday.

A source close to Thai Ministry of Defence spokesman Thanatip Sawangsaeng said yesterday Thai defence personnel would investigate the incident today.



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