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Coup remembered

Coup remembered

July 5 and 6 marked the third anniversary of the 1997 coup when troops loyal to the

then co-Prime Ministers battled on the streets of Phnom Penh.

About 200 people died during the coup and its bloody aftermath.

Troops backing the CPP triumphed in the fighting, forcing First Prime Minister Prince

Norodom Rannaridh and leading Funcinpec party members to flee into exile - leaving

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen as the undisputed ruler of Cambodia.

The anniversary passed with little fanfare.

The Government's spokesman, Khieu Kanharith, said for the sake of national reconciliation

it would be best for people to: "let bygones be bygones".

Deputy Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), Meng Vitha, said: "It's

important to commemorate the anniversary because we believe those who laid down their

lives died for democracy."

SRP members will gather at party headquarters for a Buddhist ceremony to mark the

coup anniversary today, July 7.

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