‘Poach­ers’ pep­pered in Thai­land

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL -

TWO Cam­bo­di­ans who say they un­in­ten­tion­ally crossed into Thai­land – ap­par­ently while chas­ing an en­dan­gered pan­golin – were shot by an un­known as­sailant with what was be­lieved to be an air-gun on Wed­nes­day.

Reoum Roem, 30, from Ban­teay Meanchey prov­ince, was shot in the hip, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties. His com­pan­ion Srey Pheakdey, 29, was shot in his leg and back.

Both are re­cu­per­at­ing at a hospi­tal in Thai­land af­ter be­ing shot on the other side of the border near where Bat­tam­bang and Ban­teay Meanchey prov­inces meet, ac­cord­ing to Srey Sokhun, com­man­der of Border Unit 817. Sokhun re­jected lo­cal me­dia re­ports that the men were chicken thieves.

Though one gave po­lice a vague an­swer about ar­rang­ing cock­fights, the other said they found a pan­golin “in the for­est next to the border and it tried to run away to Thai­land to the vil­lage where they were shot”.

Sokhun called on Thai au­thor­i­ties to find the gun­man.

Such il­le­gal cross­ings have his­tor­i­cally been dan­ger­ous. Thai sol­diers fa­tally shot two Cam­bo­di­ans and in­jured seven last year af­ter catch­ing them mak­ing border cross­ings.

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