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Samlot Families Complain of Land Theft

Four representatives from 73 families of the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Samlot district, Battambang province, arrived in Phnom Penh Wednesday to complain of land-grabbing to National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin.

In a letter delivered Wednesday afternoon, the families, from Chamlong Romeang Luer village, O'Samrol commune, claim military police and police took 12 square kilometers of land and sold it to a private company from Australia.

One of the villagers who came to Phnom Penh Wednesday said he lost 5 hectares of land to police and military police. Samlot authorities threatened to kill him and anyone who complained about the land, the villager said.

Samlot District Governor Hem Sophal said no one had complained to him of a land grab. He questioned why villagers would complain to the National Assembly and the media and not him.