Pol Pot reportedly on the run after slaughter
June 13, 1997
Web posted at: 10:52 a.m. EDT (1052 GMT)
In this story:
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- The notorious and ailing
Pol Pot, who led Cambodia's now disintegrating Khmer Rouge movement during its brutal "killing fields"
rule in the late 1970s, was believed to be on the run with followers on Friday after ordering a new
mass slaughter. This time, however, it's Khmer Rouge guerrillas who reportedly are killing one
First Premier Norodom Ranariddh said Pol Pot fled Anlong Veng, his stronghold in northern
Cambodia, after ordering the execution of the Khmer Rouge defense chief and his family.
Khmer Rouge guerrillas shot Son Sen, his wife and children, then drove a vehicle over them,
crushing their heads, Ranariddh told reporters, adding that he has photographic evidence of the
'Running over the dead with a truck'
Ranariddh, who is co-premier of Cambodia, did not release the pictures, but Western diplomatic sources
verified his claim.
"Mr. Pol Pot had accused Son Sen of being allied with Second Prime Minister Hun Sen, so on the 10th of
June at 2 a.m., he killed Son Sen and 11 of his family members very brutally, very cruelly, by shooting them
and running over the dead with a truck," said Ranariddh.
Both Ranariddh and Hun Sen have been trying to woo breakaway Khmer Rouge rebels ahead of national
elections expected to be held next year.
Ranariddh said Pol Pot -- who is reported to have malaria -- was carried off by his men in a sling
because he was too sick to move quickly.
|CNN's Bangkok Bureau Chief Tom Mintier reports on the situation in Cambodia
AIFF or WAV (288K / 23 sec. audio)
The Khmer Rouge ends its reign
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The fate of Khmer Rouge leadership
Ranariddh said Pol Pot has fled Anlong Veng with 200 guerrillas and some hostages. They are believed
to be headed toward the borders of Thailand and China. Both nations have said the Khmer Rouge are not
Khmer rouge breakup
Ranariddh's announcement came amid persistent reports in recent days of conflict between Pol Pot, Son
Sen and Khieu Samphan, a senior Khmer Rouge official seen as a frontman for the group.
Government officials say the split is between a few hundred Pol Pot loyalists and a breakaway group
of nearly 2,000 other Khmer Rouge guerrillas believed to have defected to the Phnom Penh government.
The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979 in a brutal, Maoist regime blamed for
the deaths of 2
million Cambodians through overwork, starvation, beatings and executions. Pol Pot is wanted by the
Cambodian government and the World Court on charges of genocide.
Khmer Rouge rebels, who reneged on a 1991 peace pact, have been fighting a low-intensity war against
the Cambodian coalition government formed after U.N.-sponsored elections in 1993.
The guerrilla movement began unraveling last August when a senior rebel, Ieng Sary, broke with
hardliners and eventually forged peace with the government.
Since then, thousands of rebels have defected to government ranks.
Bangkok Bureau Chief Tom Mintier and Reuters contributed to this report.
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