Workers on a Thai-owned cassava plantation in Pailin uncovered the remains of two bodies on Tuesday afternoon, with police on Wednesday identifying the remains as belonging to Khmer Rouge soldiers who died fighting between 1987 and 1989.
While workers were preparing land for planting in Stung Trang commune on Tuesday, they dug up pieces of fabric that, when pulled, revealed bones beneath them, according to Leav Hong, the deputy police chief for Sala Krao district.
“We have seen the remains of two Khmer Rouge soldiers, two pairs of Khmer Rouge uniforms and 1 1/2 pairs of Khmer Rouge shoes,” Mr. Hong explained.
“Both the Khmer Rouge soldiers died while fighting,” he said, saying that he drew that conclusion because the bodies were buried together.
He believed the soldiers had been killed between 1987 and 1989 because during those years Pailin saw heavy fighting between Khmer Rouge guerrillas and government forces.
The Khmer Rouge government was overthrown by Vietnamese soldiers in 1979, but Khmer Rouge forces continued to fight against the government from strongholds along the Thai border until a formal cease-fire in 1998.