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Cambodian troops in riot gear break up factory strike

Published on Jan 2, 2014 5:13 PM
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A worker who had been taking part in a protest is escorted by Cambodian soldiers after clashes broke out, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh on Jan 2, 2014. Cambodian troops armed with batons and rifles broke up a protest on Thursday by textile workers demanding a doubling of wages as part of a nation-wide strike by unions allied with the main opposition party. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - Cambodian troops armed with batons and rifles broke up a protest on Thursday by textile workers demanding a doubling of wages as part of a nation-wide strike by unions allied with the main opposition party.

Witnesses said around 100 soldiers wearing riot gear and carrying assault rifles used force to clear hundreds of workers protesting outside their factory about 20 km west of the capital, Phnom Penh.

"Soldiers beat up everyone," said labour rights activist Chhorn Sokha of the Community Legal Education Centre. "They had sticks, electric batons, slingshots and stones." At least 10 protesters were detained and it was not known yet how many were hurt, she added.

Photographers, including one from Reuters, were hit by batons while covering the protest. Two witnesses said they also saw troops striking a Buddhist monk.

 
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