The Khmer Rouge accused the Cambodian government Monday of conducting a campaign of arbitrary arrest, torture and murder in an area where three Western tourists are being held hostage.
A strongly worded commentary broadcast by the rebel faction's clandestine radio said government troops had moved into the Phnum Voar area of Kampot Province, 80 miles southwest of Phnom Penh, and "arrested or killed 177 of our people, burned 118 houses . . . in a brutal, fascist, savage and criminal manner."The commentary, monitored in the border town of Aranyaprathet, asked rhetorically why the Phnom Penh government was increasing military activity in the area.
"Is it part of their intention to kill the three (kidnapped) foreigners?" the commentary asked.
Australian David Wilson, Briton Mark Slater and Frenchman Jean-Michel Braquet have been held at a Khmer Rouge camp in Kampot since July 26, when the train they were traveling on was ambushed by Khmer Rouge guerrillas.
In a significant departure from previous propaganda broadcasts, Khmer Rouge radio referred to Phnom Penh government troops as "puppets of communist Vietnam and America," accusing Washington and Hanoi of collaboration to suppress the Cambodian guerrillas.