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Houses Torched in Sihanoukville Land Dispute, Residents Say

Residents of the beach town Sihanoukville say they clashed with security forces loyal to the city governor Friday in a land dispute that led to shots fired and huts burned.

Yim Yorn, who heads the local branch of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom organization, said 10 people were wounded by about 100 armed police, military police and soldiers.

Twenty huts were torched in the dispute, Yim Yorn said.

"I am very hurt that the authorities from all departments mistreat people who are living peacefully," one villager told VOA. "They were all armed. We would like to appeal to Prime Minister Hun Sen, [Senate President] Chea Sim and [National Assembly President] Heng Samrin to help us have land for ourselves and live peacefully."

Hul Vantha, a local deputy police chief, said his forces acted according to the orders of Sihanoukville Governor Say Hak.

The governor could not be reached for comment.