Official Posits Burned Bodies in Thailand Gang-Related

Two badly burned bodies found Wednesday on the Thai side of the border near Battambang province could be the work of local gangs, a border official said Sunday.

Locals found the bodies on a cassava farm in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province’s Klong Hat district, which borders Battambang’s Sampov Loun district, but so far Cambodian officials have been denied access to the remains.

Thai authorities in Bangkok are now performing autopsies on the bodies and expect results in 15 to 30 days, said Chun Luon, chief of the working group on Cambodia-Thailand border relations at the Phnom Dei checkpoint in Sampov Loun district.

Although Thailand has not yet briefed Cambodia on its investigation, Mr. Luon suggested Sunday that the deaths were “thug-eat-thug,” using a Khmer phrase to describe gang-on-gang violence.

Police said last week the bodies could be those of two Sampov Loun district men reported missing by their families on Friday.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Neth Sary, Cambodia’s consul-general in Sa Kaeo province, is working closely with Thai authorities to determine whether the bodies are those of the Cambodian men.

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