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B'bang executions detailed

B'bang executions detailed

GRIM details were uncovered last week of the alleged extra-judicial killings of four

Funcinpec soldiers during February's factional showdown in Battambang.

Funcinpec sources insist that CPP commander Chim Pheuy ordered the summary executions

of five Funcinpec soldiers. They also claim that a sole survivor fears for his life

and has been taken to former governor Serey Kosal's home for protection.

CPP officials maintain that an inquiry is underway, but do not deny that the brutal

killings took place.

According to testimony from survivor Sun Peo to human rights investigators, he and

four other Funcinpec soldiers were led to shallow pits in the forest on the evening

of Feb 12, forced to kneel and were shot into them. Peo says that he pretended to

be dead after surviving four bullet wounds and clawed his way out after the executioners

left who had buried him.

A human-rights report obtained by the Post lists the dead as: Mao Noy, Pich Saroeun,

Sok Chea, and Lon Chandara. Peo said that they were led into the forest of Rattanak

Mondol district about 25 km northwest of Battambang after refusing to engage fellow

Funcinpec soldiers.

According to Battambang chief of police Vorn Chhunly (Fun), the group was part of

80 Funcinpec soldiers serving with the CPP-commanded unit. He claims that they were

ordered to fight Funcinpec troops in Thmar Kuol district, but refused.

"Of course Chim Pheuy killed them, because they did not obey his order,"

he said. "They didn't want bloodshed with members of their own party."

The five were immediately handcuffed by five of commander Pheuy's bodyguards when

they took off their uniforms and said they wanted to quit the military, the human-rights

report said.

Peo testified that the group were led to a remote location where two soldiers were

carrying hoes and the five holes had been dug.

The five were forced to kneel at the holes and five soldiers carrying guns stood

behind them waiting for the order from commander Pheuy to fire, Peo told human rights

investigators.

The soldiers fired when Pheuy ordered them, but Pheuy himself shot Peo once in the

neck, once in the waist and twice in the arm with a K59 pistol, the report says.

He testified that he climbed out of the hole and ran through the forest to a village

where he was transported by oxcart to CMAC which drove him to the hospital in Battambang.

He was later taken to former governor Serey Kosal's house fearing for his life, according

to Battambang third deputy governor Sou Gakarya (Fun).

Nam Tum (CPP), Second deputy governor of Battambang province said it is not yet clear

who is responsible for the deaths.

"This story is very difficult. I don't know how to say it because it is confusing,"

he said.

But Gakarya confirmed the incident and insists Chim Pheuy masterminded the killings.

"That is true Mr Pheuy attempted to kill Sun Peo by himself," Gakarya said,

"the killing is for political reasons only, it is not related to any personal

problem."

Ho Sok (Funcinpec), Secretary of State for the Ministry of Interior said the incident

is being investigated by a government committee including: co-Ministers of Interior

Sar Kheng and You Hockry, defense minister Tea Banh, general chief of staff Ke Kim

Yan and deputy chief of staff Nhek Bunchhay.

"The committee has investigated, but found nothing so far," says Battambang

deputy chief of police Mik Dara (CPP)

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