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Two Plantation Guards Summoned in Shooting Incident

A Cambodian Buddhist monk sprinkles holly water to villagers who set a prayer rally to save rain forests in front of Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011. Hundreds of villagers prayed at the spirit's shrine, demanding the governme

The Kratie provincial court has issued a summons for two rubber plantation security guards accused of opening fire on demonstrating villagers earlier this month, a court official told VOA Khmer.

The two men will be questioned in the injury of four villagers, who were among a large group gathered outside TTY Corporation, which has a massive land concession threatening the land of some 500 families.

The summons requires the two men to appear on Jan. 30 for questioning under the new penal code for the use of illegal weapons, a court official said on condition of anonymity.

Am Sam Ath, an investigator for the rights group Licadho, said the two suspects remain at large.

“Maybe the company has more power in the country, and that is why authorities have hesitated to arrest the suspects,” he said.

TTY, which is owned by business tycoon Na Marady, has a nearly 10,000-hectare concession on land that was once a protected forest in Snuol district, he said.

Provincial Police Chief Chhoung Seanghak said police are working the case and focusing on the two guards.

On Tuesday, Environment Minister Mok Moreth visited the site of the clash to measure land and find a compromise with villagers there.