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Cambodia to Preserve Area of Pol Pot's Death - 2001-12-18


The Cambodian government plans to preserve the area along the border with Thailand where the leader of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime lived out his last days.

Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a request last week to protect and develop the northern area of Anlong Veng, where the late Pol Pot fled after the Vietnamese toppled the radical communist leader in 1979.

The proposed designation of the mountainous area as a historic tourist zone would mean landmines could be removed and the area could see some limited development.

Officials hope the plans for the site of Pol Pot's last home, together with other development plans for the area, will attract foreign and Cambodian tourists, who already visit the nearby temples of Angkor.

The Cambodian government recently announced plans to turn the Anlong Veng house of another high-ranking Khmer Rouge commander, now is in government custody, into a museum.

During a visit with the Cambodian foreign minister last month, the Thai government agreed to build a road to link Thai highways with the Anlong Veng area.

Pol Pot led the Khmer Rouge, which was responsible for the deaths of about 1.7 million people by overwork, disease, starvation and execution when it controlled Cambodia during the late 1970s.

He fought a guerrilla war from Anlong Veng for about 20 years after his overthrow in 1979. Later, he was held prisoner by members of his own movement. He died in 1998 and was cremated in the jungle area.

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