Friday, January 3, 2014

Three Killed as Police Open Fire on Protesters

Source from Cambodia Daily 


At least three people were killed Friday morning when police opened fire on several hundred protesters blocking a street at Canadia Industrial Park in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, police confirmed.
“So far, three are confirmed dead, two injured and two men were arrested by armed forces,” Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Chuon Narin said shortly after the incident at about 10 a.m.
Protesters help a man injured during clashes between police and garment workers at Canadia Industrial Park in Phnom Penh's Pur Senchey district on Friday. Police confirmed three people were killed during the violence. (Siv Channa)
Protesters help a man injured during clashes between police and garment workers at Canadia Industrial Park in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Friday. Police confirmed three people were killed during the violence. (Siv Channa)
Hundreds of young men and some women armed with sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails confronted military police armed with AK-47s, riot shields and batons on Friday, following a night of fighting between both sides in the same location.
Barricades continued to burn and rubble was strewn across the road as both sides continued to clash Friday morning and afternoon. A medical clinic was destroyed by the demonstrators—mostly striking garment factory workers—allegedly because the clinic had refused to treat those injured by military police gunfire.
Hundreds of military police are deployed near the entrance of the Canadia Industrial Park, which is the center of the ongoing conflict, and pitched battles continued with military police unable to contain the rioting.
Reports from Thursday night and early Friday morning were that the demonstrators beat back several police assaults to restore order in the area.
According to witnesses, military police gunfire from AK-47 assault rifles was sustained and targeted. Gunshots continued to ring out Friday afternoon. Bullet holes could be seen on the upper floors of an apartment building housing garment factory workers.
Major General Roth Srieng, commander of the Phnom Penh Municipal Military Police, defended the killing of the three people. “We cannot allow them to block the road and we have to crack down on them,” Mr. Srieng said. “We have no choice.”
Last night, military police tried to break up a strike of thousands of striking garment factory workers who have been demanding higher wages at the Canadia Industrial Park.
According to Bun Van, head of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, more than 200 military police had moved in with batons, shields and rifles, injuring about 10 workers.
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