Vietnam remembers over 3,000 killed in Cambodia’s Pol Pot war

By Cuu Long   May 1, 2018 | 12:10 am PT
Vietnam remembers over 3,000 killed in Cambodia’s Pol Pot war
Skulls of female victims who were killed by the Khmer Rouge in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province. Photo by Bui Thuy Dao Nguyen/CC BY 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons
Only three people from an An Giang’s commune survived the killings 40 years ago, according to historical records.

The southern Vietnamese province An Giang commemorated the death of thousands of people during the Khmer Rouge war on Monday, 40 years after the massacre.

Khmer Rouge soldiers attacked Ba Chuc Commune across the Cambodian border on April 18, 1978, which was the 12th day of the third lunar month, and killed 3,157 civilians during 12-day occupation, chasing after those who tried to flee into pagodas and up mountains.

Vietnamese commemorate deaths by the lunar calendar, and the Ba Chuc victims have been remembered every 16th day of the third lunar month, which falls on May 1 this year.

Only three people from the commune survived the killings, according to historical records. The ceremony, which involved firing torches, beating drums, and showing a documentary film at the communal funeral house, was attended by a large number of locals.

Between 1.7 million and 2.2 million people are believed to have died under the Khmer Rouge, which sought to turn Cambodia back to “year zero” in its quest for a peasant utopia.

In January 1979, the Vietnamese army, along with the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, overthrew the genocidal regime, ending the three and half year-long nightmare of the Cambodian people.

Pol Pot, the brutal leader of the regime, died in jail in April 1998, reportedly due to heart failure.

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