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Group charged over violent land grab

Group charged over violent land grab

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Saturday charged four men and three women over an attempt to grab land in Ream National Park which resulted in officers being injured during a clash.

Court spokesman Lim Bun Heng said the seven people were clearing state forest land in the park for occupation when they were confronted by authorities on Wednesday.

He said the group was charged over the assault of several officers and under the forestry law for attempting to grab state land.

Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said the group was burning the land when they were confronted by the authorities, who were in the area to dismantle illegal huts built within the park in Prey Nop district’s Ream commune.

During the confrontation, the accused assaulted police using sticks, stones, machetes, axes, bottles and a slingshot, he said.

He said Tuol Toteung commune police chief Ny Sarath and Roeung Sokchea, a member of the Special Intervention Unit within the National Military Police, were injured during the clash.

He said the seven people who were arrested had come to the area from the provinces of Prey Veng, Kampong Thom and Stung Treng.

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