Report: Soldiers killed 5 Cambodians since January

Report: Soldiers killed 5 Cambodians since January

An abbot from Khao Sala temple in Surin’s Buachet district inspects Siamese rosewood lumber seized from a group of illegal Cambodian loggers in this 2012 file photo. In the first six months of this year, five Khmer loggers were shot dead and dozens jailed, Phnom Penh says. (Bangkok Post photo)
An abbot from Khao Sala temple in Surin’s Buachet district inspects Siamese rosewood lumber seized from a group of illegal Cambodian loggers in this 2012 file photo. In the first six months of this year, five Khmer loggers were shot dead and dozens jailed, Phnom Penh says. (Bangkok Post photo)

Thai soldiers have killed five Cambodians so far this year and another 15 Khmers have gone missing while illegally logging in Thailand, Phnom Penh says.

The killing, disappearance and jailing of Cambodians by Thailand was a subject of discussion in a joint border meeting Tuesday, The Cambodia Daily reported today. But Khmer government figures show the numbers are roughly in line with 2014.

Over the first six months of this year, five Cambodian loggers were shot dead, one was injured, 15 went missing, 15 were jailed and released, and 29 remain in Thai prisons, according to Sao Vesna, chief liaison officer at the Poipet border checkpoint.

Most shot dead were illegally logging Siamese rosewood on Thai soil, he said.

Fatal shootings of Cambodians by Thai soldiers have been regular points of contention between the neighbours in recent years. In 2014, 11 Cambodians were killed while illegally logging in Thailand, down from 34 in 2013, according to the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia has repeatedly urged Thailand to arrest loggers instead of shooting them. The army claims soldiers only open fire in self-defence.

The human-rights group Adhoc claimed Tuesday that another Cambodian was killed while logging in Thailand last week. Srey Narin, a local monitor for the group, asserted it was the fourth Khmer death at the hands of Thais opposite Cambodia's Oddar Meanchey this year.

The Cambodia Daily said neither police or military officials were aware of the incident.


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