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Cambodia rejects allegations about Muslims' joining insurgent networks in Thailand


PHNOM PENH, (Xinhua): Cambodia on Wednesday rejected Thai allegations that some Cambodian Muslims have joined violent insurgent networks in Thailand's far South, saying the allegations are groundless and unacceptable.

"The allegations are absolutely groundless and unacceptable," Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday. "They are innocent people. Thai competent authorities should find out the fact and real evidence before making such baseless allegations."

The spokesman's reaction was made after the Bangkok Post online quoted Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha as saying on Tuesday that some Cambodian Muslims have joined violent insurgent networks in Thailand in the far South.

It is estimated that around 1,000 Cambodian Muslims entered Thailand for jobs via border checkpoints in eastern provinces each month.

"The main reason [they leave Cambodia] is poverty. They have no jobs in their homeland, so they must work elsewhere," Prayuth said. "Most of them do not aim to get involved in terrorism ... but they may give indirect financial support."

Koy Kuong said it is the freedom of choice in seeking jobs overseas. In Cambodia, many foreign nationals are working and performing their businesses, including Thai people.

"Cambodian people go abroad, including Thailand, for some reasons like tourists, businessmen, job seekers or visiting their relatives," he said, adding that at present, a lot of jobs have been created mostly at various private sectors in Cambodia.

Editor: znz

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