Thousand mourners attend Khmer Rouge leader's cremation
MALAI, Cambodia (AFP) - About 1,000 mourners massed Thursday for the cremation of a co-founder of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, highlighting the stark divide between supporters and victims of the brutal communist regime.
Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, 87, died last week while on trial for war crimes and genocide, cheating Cambodians of a verdict over his role in the regime's 1975-1979 reign of terror.
Relatives and former Khmer Rouge fighters attended the cremation outside his home in Malai, a one-time regime stronghold near the Thai border.
The pyre was lit by Y Chhean, a provincial governor and former bodyguard of the late Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. As smoke came out of the crematory, fireworks lit the sky.