A rights worker in Oddar Meanchey province said Monday that a border official informed him that four Cambodian men were shot dead by Thai soldiers last week while logging rosewood across the border.
Srey Narin, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said members of two separate groups of Cambodian loggers who managed to escape from the soldiers told a border police official in Trapaing Prasat district that the fatal shootings occurred on Tuesday.
“Four men were shot and killed, and two others were arrested by Thai authorities last week according to a border police official,” Mr. Narin said, citing the same border police official but refusing to name him.
“The people who escaped said two shootings occurred on August 6, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., inside the Thai forest and four people died and two were taken alive by Thai soldiers,” he said.
Mr. Narin said the border police official named the six missing loggers as Toch Thon, 39; Sin Sanh, 36; Ham Pov, 34; Huon Chin, 34; Chuon Tith, 17; and Hem Rorn, 17. He said he did not know who among the six were killed, but that all were from Trapaing Prasat and Anlong Veng districts.
Toch Ra, chief of the border liaison office at the Choam Sangam international checkpoint, said he could not confirm the deaths but that he had sent a request to Thai authorities for information on the missing men.
“I sent a report regarding the missing people to the Thai border police and they promised to investigate for us,” he said. “We are waiting for news.”
So Nov, deputy chief of police in Anlong Veng, said his officers were also probing the reported shootings.
“We heard that one of the missing men is from Anlong Veng district,” he said.
Pieng Nun, police chief in the district’s Tomnup Dach commune, said that two of the missing villagers were from his commune and that he was “researching” their disappearance.