The Cambodian-Thai border reopened last week, but the killing of Cambodians on the Thai side of the frontier has persisted with the shooting last Friday of a man from Battambang province, officials have confirmed.
Ek Thol, 40, a native of Battambang’s Kamrieng district, was shot dead by a Thai farmer who opened fire with a shotgun as the victim was stealing longan fruit from an orchard in Thailand’s Chonburi province, Cambodian police officials said on condition of anonymity on Thursday.
Ek Thol and four other Cambodians crossed the border to raid the orchard, a Battambang police officer said. Survivors reported the incident after the shooting.
“It is true, the five men picked up the Thai farmer’s fruit…. Ek Thol was shot dead,” the officer said.
After the shooting, the four fled back to Cambodian territory, and Ek Thol’s body was handed back the next day to Cambodian border guards in Kamrieng district, the officer added.
Deploring the slaying of Cambodian citizens on the Thai border, Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this month sealed the border with Thailand.
It was reopened last Friday as part of steps to normalize relations between Thailand and Cambodia, which were shattered after the Jan 29 anti-Thai riots in Phnom Penh.
Officials at the reopening ceremony said border issues had been solved and relations between Bangkok and Phnom Penh would steadily improve.