At least one car belonging to Wildlife Alliance in Koh Kong province was set ablaze by more than 300 protesters on Wednesday after the conservation organisation and local authorities allegedly destroyed their cash crops in the newly established Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Provincial police chief Sam Khit Vean said on Thursday that the protesters threw Molotov cocktails at the car. He said no one was injured in the altercation.
“After the protest, provincial hall officials invited both parties to negotiate but there have been no compromise yet,” he said.
Angry protesters said the NGO had led Military Police and environment department officials to fell more than 200 of their durian and mango trees on Tuesday, claiming they were grown in the conservation area.
Provincial environment department director Mon Phalla denied that his rangers had destroyed the crops.
“Before felling the trees, I didn’t know whether the NGO officers had informed the owners, so I instructed my rangers not to fell the trees,” he said.
Wildlife Alliance programme director Nick Marx said on Thursday that he had not received a report about the incident.