Page 1, 20th March 1970

20th March 1970
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Page 1, 20th March 1970 — Looting rioters raid churches in Cambodia
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People: Prince
Locations: Phnom Penh, Moscow

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Looting rioters raid churches in Cambodia

FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

ATTACKS by gangs of Cambodians on the homes and churches of Catholic Vietnamese have been one of the manifestations of the Governmentinspired Cambodian campaign to rid the country of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.

Resentment at the growing infiltration of Vietnamese Communists reaehed a head in Cambodia last week with the ultimatum by the Cambodian regime to the Viet Cong to withdraw its armed forces. A similar demand was sent to the North Vietnamese Embassy.

It is estimated that some 50,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops are on Cambodian territory. The country also has a Vietnamese minority population put at some 500,000.

It was a "Catholic village" of the latter, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, that was one of the targets of several days of violence by Right-wing Cambodian gangs, In the attacks, which followed similar onslaughts on the North Vietnam and Viet Cong Embassies in the capital, doors and windows were smashed down and property stolen and destroyed.

Small groups of rioters stormed into two Catholic churches of the Vietnamese community. They burned a cross in one and damaged a statue of Christ in the other. About 20 houseboats were looted and a Vietnameseowned bookshop destroyed.

Cambodian Army troops were called out to help police clear the mobs.

PRINCE IN MOSCOW Prince Sihanouk, the Cambodian Head of State who was deposed on Wednesday, had flown to Moscow at the weekend for talks with Russian leaders.

He said the Cambodian people did not want Communism.

Talks have also been taking place in Phnom Penh between Government representatives

and Vietnam Communist

leaders about the evacuation of Communist troops. Thousands of rioters demonstrated outside Parliament on Monday calling for the withdrawal.




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