|Cambodian garments factory workers demanding minimum pay injured in police shooting
Police in Cambodia opened fire on protesting garments factory workers on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh, causing injuries to several people, according to an AFP photographer.
Military police fired warning shots in the air and then fired at protesters, in the latest in a series of violent clashes between security forces and textile workers demanding higher wages.
(Pictured, Cambodian garment workers and villagers block the main road demanding freedom for some worker activists who were arrested during a strike yesterday in Kambol village, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh).
An Associated Press photographer and human rights also said police fired 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 US$160 a month. About 500,000 Cambodian are employed in the garment industry, the country's biggest export earner.
Military police spokesman Kheng Tito said the crackdown came after nine policemen were injured by stones and slingshots.
He said two protesters were arrested.
"We were afraid about the security so we had to crack down on them,'' said Kheng Tito. "If we allow them to continue the strike it will become anarchy.''--AFP/AP