By Thet Sambath
the cambodia daily
Six Cambodian nationals, including one pregnant woman, were shot dead by hooded attackers in Thailand’s Rak Yong province on Saturday morning, officials and a news report said Sunday.
According to the Bangkok Post newspaper, the Cambodians were killed at a workers’ living quarters behind a furniture factory around 4 am.
Thai police Colonel Chon Yutthithamdongrong told the Bangkok Post that one of the men killed had charged the workers up to $75 each to find them jobs in Thailand and that the shooting may have been an act of vengeance. The victims were shot in the head and neck, the newspaper said.
Nuth Ly, police chief of O’Chrou district in Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province, confirmed Sunday that six Cambodians were killed in Thailand and said that the bodies will be returned to Cambodia today.
Songchai Chaipatiyut, second secretary at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, said he had no information Sunday and referred questions to Cambodian authorities.
Yong Sovann, whose son Van Leak, 23, was among the six killed, said Sunday his wife had gone to Thailand to gather their son’s belongings.
“My wife called me when she arrived at the place and she is cleaning blood at her son’s room,” he said, adding that two women, one of whom was about eight months pregnant, were among the six killed.
“All relatives are waiting at the Poipet International Checkpoint to accept the bodies for a funeral, but we were informed Thai [officials] do not work on Sunday and they will be sent to Cambodia on Monday,” he said.
Yong Sovann said his son had been working in Thailand for about four years and had been sending money back home to support his family. While he had heard the attack was an armed robbery, Yong Sovann was skeptical of such reports.
In a separate incident, officials in Banteay Meanchey province on Friday reported that a Cambodian farmer was beaten to death in Thailand, apparently after he was found to have illegally entered the country.
O’Chrou district Governor Keo Sen said Pa Chhang, 41, from Takeo province, was beaten to death while two other unidentified men were injured.
Keo Sen condemned the attack. “Crossing illegally is not worth killing,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Lor Chandara)