Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities sent an official report to the Ministry of Interior stating that Thai border police shot and killed two Cambodians in the disputed border area near O’Smach village last Saturday. It is the second incident this month in which Thai police are accused of shooting and killing Cambodians.
The report contradicts Thai border authorities’ claims that the Cambodians opened fire first on the border police, said Yoeun Thin, Oddar Meanchey deputy governor. The three Cambodians—civilians—were in the area collecting ingredients for traditional medicines when the Thai police killed two of them, Yoeun Thin said. “We have communicated with the Thai authorities and asked them how they will punish the killers and why they shot at the Cambodians,” he said. Yoeun Thin said he wanted higher officials, not local authorities, to intervene in the matter.
An official at the Thai embassy said the embassy had not received any official reports about the shooting from either Thai or Cambodian authorities and could not comment on the alleged shooting.
“This is not an isolated incident,” acknowledged an official at the Ministry of Interior who had not yet seen the report Thursday. “We want good relations with Thailand and we will solve any problems through mutual cooperation and diplomatic means.”