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Cambodian 'Killing Fields' Survivor Dith Pran Dies

Dith Pran, the Cambodian-born journalist whose harrowing tale of enslavement and eventual escape from that country's murderous Khmer Rouge revolutionaries in 1979 and became the subject of the award-winning film "The Killing Fields," died on Sunday March 30th, 2008.

Pran died at a New Jersey hospital of pancreatic cancer at the age of 65.

Dith was working as an interpreter and assistant for the New York Times in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, when the Vietnam War ended in April 1975.

His colleague, Sydney Schanberg, helped Dith's family get out but was forced to leave his friend behind after the capital fell.

They were not reunited until Dith escaped four-and-a-half years later.

Eventually, Dith resettled in the United States and went on to work as a photographer for the New York Times.

It was Dith himself who coined the term "killing fields" for the horrifying mounds of corpses and skeletal remains of victims he encountered on his desperate journey to freedom.

Choeung Ek, the best-known of the sites known as the "killing fields", is now a memorial site that is a popular tourist attraction.

Information for this report was provided by APTN.

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