Hundreds mourn former Khmer Rouge co-founder Ieng Sary
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Hundreds of mourners gathered on Friday for a funeral ceremony at the rural stronghold of Khmer Rouge co-founder Ieng Sary who died while on trial for genocide and war crimes.
The 87-year-old died on Thursday, cheating Cambodians of a verdict over his role in the regime and handing another blow to the UN-backed court which has been blighted by delays and cash shortages.
The outpouring of grief at the ceremony, including tears from some of the mourners, spotlighted the lingering divide between supporters and ex-members of the former regime, which wiped out nearly a quarter of the country's population between 1975 and 1979, and those who survived its brutality.
Ieng Sary's body was taken late Thursday to his powerbase in northwestern Malai district, near the Thai border where he held out with fellow Khmer Rouge members after the regime fell from power until his defection in 1996.