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Disadvantaged See Land Ploughed

Armed forces ploughed over the land of 300 families in Kampot province Thursday, witnesses and rights group said.

The residents in Chhouk district, Kampot province, were accused of illegally squatting on land owned by a private company. Many are disabled soldiers, widows and orphans.

Chhouk District Governor Nam Seth said the land was razed because it had become a “place of anarchy.”

“Illegal settlers just grabbed the land of others,” he said.

Morn Kong, a disabled soldier representing the villagers, said tractors ploughed the land “in front of the people.”

“The people are not able to stop this, so there are only non-governmental organizations and local organizations who can help us,” he said.

The villagers have asked Adhoc to intervene, an investigator for the rights group, Sem Chaosok, said. “They think the authorities and the armed forces conspired together.”