Officials Urge Workers in Thailand To Return

Cambodian officials said Mon­day that they are urging Cam­bo­dian workers in Thailand to re­turn home after six Cambodian na­tionals were shot dead in Thai­land’s Rayong province on Satur­day morning.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Sareth, deputy chief of the Cambodian-Thai border coordination office, said Cambodian officials were sent to speak with the owner of a furniture company where the kil­lings took place to seek the repatriation of the factory’s estimated 300 Cambodian workers.

“We have to protect them,” Tim Sareth said. “If they are there [in Thailand] they will face more prob­lems. We don’t know the real purpose [of the killings], but we have to alert our people.”

According to the Sunday edition of the Bangkok Post newspaper, six Cambodians, including one pregnant woman, were shot by hoo­ded attackers at a workers’ living quarters behind the factory. Police told the Bangkok Post they be­lieved the killings involved a dispute among the Cambodian workers.

Tim Sareth said Monday that three or four other Cambodians were also injured in the attack and are now recovering at a hospital in Rayong province.

He said he was informed that the bodies of those killed will be sent back to Cambodia today.

“They need to take [a few] days because they are being au­top­sied by Thai authorities,” he said.

An Sum, deputy governor of Ban­teay Meanchey province, said Monday that he has organized a committee to accept the bodies at the Poipet border crossing and to organize a funeral for the victims.

“We are very sad to hear about the killing of Cambodian workers,” he said. “A solution must be found by both nations on this is­sue.”

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokes­man Hem Heng said Monday he had no information about the at­tack.

Pat Rorng, the mother of slain wor­ker Van Leak, said Mon­day that she had gone to Thailand to col­lect the body of her son but was de­nied access to him by Thai au­thorities.

“I was not allowed to see my son’s body. They said they worried I would be shocked,” she said by telephone Monday.

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