SEVEN Thai quarry workers were freed after being held hostage for 24 hours by the
Khmer Rouge in a mountain area in Kompong Speu province.
A Thai Embassy official said the hostages were freed on the night of May 9 after
their employer paid an unspecified ransom.
The seven Thais were among 11 kidnapped on May 8, when rebels wearing RCAF uniforms
attacked the Aphiwar Sila company, a rock crushing company, in Phnom Cheal about
9 km east of the provincial town.
Hostage Soeung Sambo, 18, said: "I was repairing a company car, then I heard
shooting. Other people ran and so did I... The Thais called out to me 'get in the
car and go home'." He said he got in the car which drove toward Kompong Speu,
only to be met by a band of Khmer Rogue.
Government troops at a camp nearby exchanged gunfire with the rebels who escaped
in three cars with the hostages.
The KR stopped at Prey Viev village about 7 km south of the company site. Later that
morning Sambo and three Thais workers - one man and two women - were freed. The abductors
demanded $350,000 for the remaining seven hostages.
The seven spent a night as hostages with the rebels, and were released the following
The attack was due to the Royal army's "recklessness", conceded Colonel
Pul Seiha of 3rd military region, who added that the guerrillas belonged to KR division
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