Man Shot While Logging Illegally in Thailand

An illegal logger was shot in the arm by Thai soldiers while searching for rosewood inside Thailand in the predawn hours of Sunday morning, but escaped along with five colleagues, according to a local commune chief.

Chan Noy, 18, was about 2 km inside Thai territory near the border with Oddar Meanchey province when he and his fellow loggers were shot at by the soldiers at about 5:10 a.m., said Phang Sam Ath, chief of Samraong City’s O’Smach commune.

Mr. Sam Ath, who gathered the information from Mr. Noy’s village chief, said the other five loggers were uninjured and assisted Mr. Noy back to Cambodia, where he was treated at the provincial hospital.

“It is the second time [this year] that people in my commune were shot by Thai soldiers. Now two people have been injured after sneaking into Thailand to cut rosewood,” Mr. Sam Ath said.

Police officials could not be reached for comment.

Srey Narim, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said four Cambodians have been killed while logging illegally across the border from Oddar Meanchey during the first six months of this year.

“If we compare the same six months last year, it is six fewer people, because last year 10 people were shot and killed by Thai soldiers,” he said.

Cambodia has repeatedly asked Thailand to not shoot nationals who cross the border in search of rosewood—which can fetch thousands of dollars per cubic meter back home—and to arrest them instead. Thailand says its soldiers only open fire at loggers in self-defense.

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