Burned bodies raise Thai-Cambodian tensions

Thai soldiers allegedly burned two men to death after they crossed border illegally.

Burned bodies raise Thai-Cambodian tensions

World Bulletin/News Desk

Tests are being carried out to identify two charred bodies found on the Thai-Cambodian in the latest incident to strain relations between the neighbors, local media reported Saturday.

Dozens of Cambodians are shot dead every year by Thai border guards, most involved in illegal logging, and the Cambodian authorities fear the bodies may belong the latest victims.

The men are said to have been burned alive by Thai troops.

Foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told the Phnom Penh Post that Thailand believes the remains to belong to Thai nationals. Contacted by The Anadolu Agency, he said authorities in Cambodia were inquiring about any missing people.

“Until now, Thailand is working to check the remains and has not yet given the result to us, whether they are Thai or Khmer,” he said.

 The remains were found 10 days ago on the Thai side of the border in Sa Kaeo province.

Last week a family in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap claimed the bodies belonged to Souv Ros, 21, and Voeun Chi, 36, and held a service for them.

A deputy military commander in Cambodia’s Battambang province said Thai soldiers had admitted to burning two men alive with car tyres on Jan. 7 after they were caught smuggling a motorbike across the border, according to the Post.

Media in Thailand cited anonymous Thai army officials as denying the claims.

Kuong told AA that efforts are being made to improve relations along the border and ensure that proper procedures are put in place in the event of illegal activity.

“On the 16th we had a joint commission meeting chaired by the ministers of foreign affairs,” he said. “During the meeting we tried to solve the problem – we seek measures to prevent illegal logging along the border and instruct the local authorities along the border to stop using weapons against illegal loggers.”

In December, the Post reported that a Cambodian woman was shot in the head after she illegally crossed the border to forage for food.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has sought better relations with the Thai military. In October, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was welcomed for his first official visit to Phnom Penh.


Last Mod: 17 Ocak 2015, 23:57
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