5 Cambodians Killed in Thailand Repatriated

Thai border officials barred their ci­tizens from crossing into Cam­bo­dia for more than an hour on Tues­­day morning as the bodies of five Cam­bodian nationals killed in Thai­land were returned home through the Poipet border, an official said.

Bun Hor, chief of the Poipet in­ter­national checkpoint, said Thai au­thorities closed the border out of fear that Thais would be at­tacked by Cambodians angry over last Saturday’s killings, but such action was unnecessary, he said.

“Cambodia does not take any action [against] Thai citizens and does not discriminate,” Bun Hor said. “Cambodia does not take re­venge on Thai citizens for this kil­ling. People are innocent…. Let the authorities find the perpetrators and arrest them,” he said.

The border was reopened after Thai citizens demonstrated for more than an hour, Bun Hor said.

“Thai people were protesting at the Thai checkpoint gate demanding [entry] into Cambodia. They want to visit and make business in Cambodia. They do not care what happened in Thailand,” he said.

Five Cambodians, including one preg­nant woman, were shot Sa­tur­day morning at a Thai furniture com­pany where they worked.                                     Initial press reports said that six adults had been killed, but one man was discovered to be faking death to escape further injury, said Lieu­tenant-Colonel Tim Sareth, deputy chief of the Cambodian-Thai border coordination office.                         “He is in hospital with two other injured men in Rayong prov­ince [in] Thailand,” Tim Sareth said.

All five bodies were returned to Cam­bodia on Tuesday afternoon, and a ceremony was held in Sras Trach pagoda in Poipet commune, said Tim Sareth.

The Thai Em­bas­sy could not be reached for comment Tues­day.

Fearing additional attacks, Cam­bo­dian officials earlier this week urged Cambodian nationals working in Thailand to return home.

An es­timated 300 Cambodians worked at the furniture factory where the killings took place, Tim Sareth said.

 

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