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.