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Cambodia Sent Official Protest to Thai Government

Cambodia has sent an official protest to the Thai government over the shooting deaths of five Cambodian migrant workers in southern Thailand last week.

The workers were gunned down last Saturday in the province of Rayong near a wood processing factory.

A statement from Cambodia's foreign ministry Tuesday denounced the killings and what it called brutal acts of torture against Cambodians living in Thailand.

It also says Thailand's cooperation in bringing the killers to justice is crucial for maintaining the friendship, confidence and understanding between the two countries. Relations between Cambodia and Thailand have often been fragile. They plummeted in 2003 after violent anti-Thai riots broke out in Phnom Penh.

Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) Eng Chhay Eang said he is happy to see the foreign ministry's action. The SRP lawmaker is asking the Cambodian government to create more jobs so that Cambodians don't have to go to other countries to work.

Human rights activist Kem Sokha praised Cambodia's official protest and asked the government to follow up. However, Kem Sokha advised the government to be careful and not to destroy the friendship between the two countries.

Thailand has not yet responded to Cambodia's official protest.