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Thai troops accused of killing Khmer

Written By vibykhmer on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | 7:03 PM

http://www.bangkokpost.com
Writer: BANGKOK POST AND AFP
Published: 16/09/2009

The Foreign Ministry denies Thai soldiers shot and burned alive a Cambodian teenager for cutting down trees illegally on the border.

Ministry spokeswoman Vimon Kidchob yesterday said the ministry had checked the report with the Border Affairs Department under the Supreme Command and found it baseless.

Thai soldiers fired bullets into the sky near the border in Surin on Friday after finding about eight Cambodian teenagers were sneaking into Thai territory to cut down trees, Miss Vimon said.

But the Cambodian foreign ministry claimed in a letter sent to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday Yon Rith, 16, was one of two Cambodian teenagers shot and wounded by Thai soldiers after they and others felled trees illegally. on the frontier.

''One of them named Mao Kleung managed to escape the scene, while the other injured boy named Yon Rith ... was arrested and burned alive by the Thai forces,'' the letter said.

The Cambodian foreign ministry called the alleged incident an ''inhuman act'' and urged Thai authorities to investigate.

But Miss Vimon said the report was a misunderstanding. ''Thai soldiers did not use force in the incident,'' she said.

She said a Thai diplomat was summoned to the Cambodian foreign ministry yesterday to clarify the issue.

The accusation comes just days before a planned rally at the border near Preah Vihear by the People's Alliance for Democracy.

On Saturday, PAD members plan to voice their opposition to new buildings being constructed in the disputed area, claiming there are plans for Thailand to abandon the overlapping area. They say those two issues could lead to Cambodia taking firm control of the 4.6-square-kilometre zone which has not been unsettled.

Supreme Administrative Court president Ackaratorn Chularat said if the Thai government turned a blind eye to the settlement, it could eventually be seen as accepting Cambodian possession on the land.

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