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In Deadly Dispute, Forces Looted Homes, Stole More Land, Villagers Say

Authorities used a land grab clash in Preah Vihear province to confiscate even more land from angry villagers, witnesses and opposition leaders said Friday.

Violence between villagers and police this week left two people dead and five injured in Preah Vihear, following the alleged sale of villager land to business interests.

Some residents are now without homes and separated from their families, witnesses said.

Authorities also cremated the bodies of two people killed in the dispute, Sam Rainsy Party commune council chief Long Ri said.

"The two bodies were cremated, and I heard that the bodies were not completely burned when they were taken to burial at the mountain," he said.

Preah Vihear Deputy Governor Sor Sam Ol said the people were not living in proper homes, "some were without walls and some others without the roof."

"I acknowledged that the authorities seized some things," he said, "but those are just knives and axes those villagers used as their weapons."

Sor Sam Ath, an investigation officer for the rights group Licadho, no relation to Sar Sam Ol, said his agency worried that some people were still missing, "probably in the jungle."