Cambodian general: Pol Pot surrenders
June 18, 1997
Web posted at: 11:13 a.m. EDT (1513 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- A Cambodian general said
Wednesday that notorious Khmer Rouge
leader Pol Pot, who was behind the deaths of 2 million
Cambodians during his "killing fields" regime from 1975 to
1979, has surrendered to his former comrades, according to The Associated
Gen. Nhek Bunchhay, deputy army chief of staff, said the
guerrillas planned to hold Pol Pot to be judged by an
international tribunal for his role in the genocidal regime.
"If he has turned himself in and is physically apprehended,
this is an incredibly important moment -- not only for
Cambodia but for Asian history," said Evan Williams of the
Australian Broadcasting Corp., who spoke by phone with CNN.
Hear an audio track of the gunfire that erupted in the streets Tuesday night
AIFF or WAV(320K / 24 sec. audio)
"Pol Pot would have to be taken to an international tribunal
for the deaths of up to 2 million Cambodians in his reign of
terror," Williams said.
(390K/34 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Pol Pot's surrender was initially reported by Khmer Rouge
radio, and senior government officials reacted cautiously.
"We must be careful about this," Cambodian co-Prime Minister
Hun Sen told Reuters. "This is not normal. Everything is
still a mystery."
Pol Pot has been reported on the run in northern Cambodia for
the past several months after most of his troops deserted
him. Other reports have said he died last year.
The news comes less than 24 hours after volleys of gunfire
and grenades rocked the Cambodian capital. The hours-long
shoot-out in Phnom Penh erupted between bodyguards loyal to
the two rival co-premiers, Hung Sen and Norodom Ranariddh,
threatening the country's stability amid worsening tensions
over the fate of Pol Pot. At least two people were killed in
Reuters contributed to this report.
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