RCAF to Check on Howes Report, General Says

The top RCAF general responsible for the mass defections at Anlong Veng said Sunday he does not know if the killer of a British deminer has defected the government. 

“I have not heard about this report,” said RCAF Deputy Chief of General Staff Meas Sophea, responsible for current military operations in northern Cambodia. “We will check into it.”

A Thai military officer told Agence France-Presse in Bang­kok on Friday that the killer of the Mines Advisory Group’s Chris­topher Howes was one of several thousand rebel troops who de­fected to the government in March this year.

A British Embassy official said Monday he could not comment on the statement by the unnamed Thai officer.

The comments by the Thai came following a meeting be­tween Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Derek Fatchett, and Thai army chief Chetta Thana­jaro.

Howes was abducted north of Siem Reap town in March 1996. Thai intelligence officers, who have been looking into the case with Scotland Yard and Cam­bodian authorities, said Howes was shot two days after he was kidnapped, according to AFP.

His translator, Houn Hourth, was also murdered by the rebels.

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