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Pattaya Daily News

13 October 2010 :: 10:10:04 am 43860

Cambodia Refutes Allegations of Assisting Assassination Squads

A leading Cambodian government spokesman on Tuesday refuted earlier claims by Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations (DSI) that its army assisted in the training of a group of Red Shirt radicals scheming to assassinate key Thai political figures and possibly overthrow the revered monarchy.
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Bangkok, the 12th of October 2010: The refutation of claims that Cambodian Army soldiers did not officially take part in any such ‘assassination squad’ training, comes after Lt. Col. Payao Thongen of Thailand’s DSI on Monday made the stunning claims allegedly based on the testimonies of 11 detained suspects claiming involvement in the exercises.

The 11 suspects were arrested in the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai last week after one of their comrades gave up their alleged scheming to assassinate the Thai premier, deputy and other key political figures, deciding to opt out of the operation. In addition the men along with at least a further 27 Thai nationals are also being investigated for accusations of harbouring hate and plotting to overthrow the nations revered monarchy.

A leading Cambodian government spokesman, Khieu Kanharith, on Tuesday came out to refute the allegation by Thai authorities stating, “Why would we need to do this? Cambodia would receive absolutely no benefit from training these people. Cambodia strongly rejects these allegations.” Khieu stopped short of accusing the Thai special agency, equivalent to America’s FBI, of having fabricated the statement, but several media sources have already alluded to such a situation in the Thai press.

Central to the accusations is the training of some 39 Thai nationals by suspected Cambodian soldiers and numerous radical Red Shirt leaders fugitive from the Thai authorities, at an unnamed location inside Cambodia. Lt. Col. Payao revealed the passage of the 39 men including their crossing over the border, while stating that a group of a similar size is thought to have undertaken an operation prior to the unravelling of this instance.

“During the training, they were taught by the Thai UDD members who were in the neighbouring country about political beliefs and more importantly about hatred toward the institution,” Payao said in an interview with the government-owned MCOT television network on Monday. The “institution” is a common euphemism for the Thai monarchy.

In a further report on the MCOT website Payao was quoted as saying that the training “was held in a Cambodian army camp and they were trained by Cambodian soldiers.” Payao said the men were “trained to know almost every kind of weapon,” including assault rifles and grenade launchers, and were shown the use of C4 plastic explosive. He did not explain why Cambodia would be involved in such a conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva looks set to discuss the controversial matter with Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at an impending regional summit scheduled for later this month, according to government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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