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Thais return loggers’ bodies

Thais return loggers’ bodies

The bodies of two Cambodians shot by Thai soldiers while allegedly illegally logging luxury wood across the border were repatriated yesterday, while 10 others who were arrested remained in custody in Thailand, an official has said.

Pich Vanna, deputy chief of the Cambodian-Thai Border Relation Office, said the bodies of the victims – one was subsequently discovered after early reports had only one dead – were sent back yesterday across the border at Preah Vihear province’s Choum Ksan district.

“The dead bodies of Cambodian men arrived on Monday afternoon at the Anses checkpoint in Cambodia [to send to the] site for the traditional funeral,” he said.

The men were shot when Thai forces opened fire on more than 100 Cambodians allegedly logging rosewood in Ubon Ratchathani province on Saturday.

Thai military representatives have reportedly said that members of the group were carrying firearms and that they shot in self-defence, though Cambodian officials have claimed the group was unarmed.

Another 110 Cambodians evaded the gunfire and came back to Cambodia, while 10 others were caught and arrested.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he had not yet received detailed information about the incident yet.

A source close to Thai defence ministry spokesman Col Thanatip Sawangsaeng said they also had no further detailed information about the case.

The rights group Adhoc has reported that 13 Cambodians had  already been shot by Thai soldiers this year after illegally entering Thailand this year, the same number of fatalities from these incidents recorded in all of 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at [email protected]

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