Pol Pot, whose reign of terror in Cambodia two decades ago left more than 1 million people dead, appears to be terminally ill and near death, informed U.S. officials said Thursday.
Such reports have recurred over the past several months, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.King Norodom Sihanouk, in Paris in April for an official visit, told France-Info Radio that Pol Pot, believed to be in his 60s, was dying. Sihanouk did not specify what the ailment was.
Pol Pot is believed to still be directing a stubborn Khmer Rouge insurgency against the Cambodian government elected three years ago.
He has reportedly been treated in recent years for malaria, high blood pressure and diabetes. Leng Sokchea, head of the Information Ministry, said in April Pol Pot also had suffered a heart attack.
His critics had hoped Pol Pot could be prosecuted internationally for his cruel 31/2-year rule in the Southeast Asian country. Even today, the Khmer Rouge is still fighting for power, though.