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Land Dispute in Kampong Thom Leads to Violence and Arrests

Three villagers have been arrested in Kampong Thom province on Wednesday in a chronic land dispute and some others are being pursued by provincial authority, officials and villagers said.

“We are interrogating the three men for more arrests of those involved before sending the case to court,” Kampong Thom provincial police chief, Phan Sopheng, said.

More than 1,000 families live on the land that is now part of an 8,000-hectare land concession belonging to the Vietnamese Tin Bien company.

As a result of the dispute, some property belonging to the company, including two bulldozers, an excavator, and a generator, were burned when violence erupted Monday. Nine residents were also wounded.

Land disputes are on the rise in Cambodia. In 2008, a human rights group Adhoc documented 306 cases with 150 people arrested.