Thailand Confirms Arrests But Not Shootings

Responding to reports that four Cambodian loggers were shot and killed after sneaking across the border in search of rosewood last week, Thailand confirmed the arrests of two Cambodians but made no mention of any shootings, according to a border official.

On Monday, Srey Narin, a coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Oddar Meanchey province, said an unidentified border official had told him that Thai soldiers shot dead four Cambodian loggers last week and that two others were arrested. The official reportedly said that he had been informed about the incident by other loggers who had fled back to Cambodia.

On Wednesday, Toch Ra, head of the Choam Sangam international checkpoint, said Thailand had sent him a report claiming two loggers were arrested but failing to address any shootings. He said the report stated that Ouk Bie, 32, and Toch Thon, 40, were arrested on Thursday and remained in Thai custody.

So Nov, deputy police chief in Anlong Veng district, said his officers were also investigating the case, but had not reached any conclusions.

In an unrelated case, Mr. Ra said that Thailand on Wednesday repatriated five Cambodians who were caught logging across the border last year and had spent a year in prison.

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