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Two Rubber Plantation Guards Arrested After Hun Sen Order

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

Authorities in Kratie province have detained two rubber plantation security guards charged with firing into a crowd of demonstrating villagers last month.

The two men, from the TTY Company, are charged with the illegal use of weapons, after they shot into a crowd of villagers, injuring four, on Jan. 18.

Ke Sovanna, 40, and Pin Kimleng, 26, are being held at the provincial jail awaiting a hearing after their arrest on Saturday, court officials said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said last week he wanted the men arrested.

Neth Ratana, 23, who was injured in the Jan. 18 shooting, told VOA Khmer she had heard the men given orders over their radio to shoot villagers who had gathered in Snuol district to protest an alleged land grab by TTY, which is owned by a powerful business tycoon.

Chan Saveth, a rights investigator for Adhoc, welcomed the arrest of the two men. However, he said, authorities should not wait for an order from Hun Sen to arrest people who break the law.