Cambodia investigates second killing on border

A Cambodian official accused Thai troops of fatally shooting a Cambodian national who tried to cross the border illegally, local media reported Wednesday.

The incident marked the second time in two months that Thai troops have been accused of killing Cambodians along the border in north-western Cambodia.

The Phnom Penh Post newspaper cited the governor of the provincial capital of Oddar Meanchey province as saying the victim, Sim Bun Chhim, 25, was crossing the border with two other men Monday night when Thai soldiers opened fire. The other men escaped, but Sim Bun Chhim was seriously injured and died on his way to hospital.

Thon Nol, the governor of Samrong, condemned the act.

“They crossed the border illegally, but (Thai troops) shot them like animals,” Thon Nol told the newspaper. “They should have arrested them and sent them back to the Cambodian authorities.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry was awaiting a report from local authorities before deciding on any course of action, spokesman Koy Kuong said Wednesday.

Last month, a Cambodian teenager was reportedly tied to an ox cart and burned alive by Thai troops after being caught logging illegally in Thailand.

The Thai government had said 16-year-old Yon Rith was already dead from gunshot wounds when troops burned his body.

The ministry spokesman said Phnom Penh had received a note from the Thai government refuting the allegation. Cambodian officials were still investigating the teenager’s death.

“The note says that the Thai side agrees to cooperate with Cambodia to bring the offenders to justice but asked Cambodia to provide more evidence,” Koy Koung said. “I don’t know how long that (investigation) will take.”

Cambodia and Thailand have had a tense and long-running dispute over their 804-kilometre-long border. Violence has flared on occasion between troops on both sides, most recently in the area around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on Cambodia’s northern border.

The Nation

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