Witnesses say several wounded as Cambodian police open fire in clash with striking workers - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Sunny
-5.0°C

Witnesses say several wounded as Cambodian police open fire in clash with striking workers

Cambodian soldiers block garment workers on strike in front of a factory of Yak Jin in Kambol village, at the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Troops have been used to forcefully quell a demonstration by striking factory workers in Cambodia, with Buddhist monks and labor leaders among those detained. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
January 02, 2014 - 9:13 PM

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Several striking Cambodian garment workers were wounded Friday when police opened fire during a confrontation with the protesters, witnesses said.

An Associated Press photographer and human rights workers said police fired AK-47 rifles after several hundred workers blocking a road south of the capital Phnom Penh began burning tires and throwing objects at them. Several wounded workers could be seen after the shots were fired.

Chan Soveth of the human-rights group Adhoc said one person was killed and at least five wounded, but the death could not be immediately confirmed by officials or medical authorities.

The workers are part of a nationwide strike demanding a doubling of the minimum wage to $160 a months. About 500,000 Cambodian are employed in the garment industry, the country's biggest export earner. The government has offered $100 a month.

The clash comes a day after Cambodian soldiers forcefully quelled a separate demonstration by striking workers, detaining Buddhist monks and labour leaders.

The violence comes at a time of political stress, as the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has protested daily for Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down and call elections. Hun Sen won elections last July that extended his 28-year rule in the poor Southeast Asia nation, but protesters led by opposition head Sam Rainsy accuse him of rigging the vote. Hun Sen has rejected their demand.

Although the wage and election issues are not directly linked, Cambodia's opposition has had long and close ties with the country's labour movement.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • New mountain highway proposed between Red Deer and Kamloops
    An Alberta development group is pitching the idea of a new highway linking central Alberta to B.C. cutting through the mountains and a section of Banff National Park. The Central Alberta Eco
  • Kamloops firefighter back at work after co-workers saved his life
    Four months after his co-workers saved his life, a Kamloops firefighter is back at work. Mike Silva has been working with Kamloops Fire Rescue for 15 years and was enjoying some time off in
  • Pier 1 closing all of its stores in Canada
    Pier 1 Imports, Inc. announced today that it has entered into bankruptcy protection and is pursuing a sale. The retailer  commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankrupt
  • West Kelowna's Bull Mountain glistens for its close-up
    It’s not a secret that West Kelowna’s family ski hill is getting infused with new life. Bull Mountain Adventure Park is being built on the remnants of Crystal Mountain Resort, an
  • Vernon family captures mesmerizing melting ice
    A Vernon family was on their way home from Kelowna when they made a pit stop after noticing a beautiful scene along Wood Lake. Matthew Royal and his daughters noticed how “cool”
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile