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Cambodians gather at 'Day of Anger' ceremony to mourn victims of genocidal Khmer Rouge regime

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    A Cambodian woman stands with burning incense sticks as she visits a memorial holding skulls of the Khmer Rouge victims at Choeung Ek "Killing Field" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual "Day of Anger" events to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)The Associated Press

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    Cambodian students re-enact torture executed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the 1970s to mark the annual "Day of Anger" at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "Killing Field" dotted with mass graves, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual "Day of Anger" events to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)The Associated Press

  • a3bde8c1e7585e10320f6a706700cee3.jpg

    Cambodian students re-enact torture executed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the 1970s to mark the annual "Day of Anger" at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual 'Day of Anger' event to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)The Associated Press

  • 8ace9531e7575e10320f6a706700c8d5.jpg

    Hundreds of former Khmer Rouge victims' bone and skulls are displayed in a memorial at Choeung Ek "Killing Field" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual Day of Anger events to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)The Associated Press

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    A Cambodian woman and her son tour a memorial holding skulls of the Khmer Rouge victims at Choeung Ek "Killing Field" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual "Day of Anger" events to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)The Associated Press

More than 1,000 Cambodians have turned out for the official annual ceremony honoring victims of the 1970s communist Khmer Rouge regime, blamed for the deaths of about 1.7 million Cambodians.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks were among those marking the so-called "Day of Anger" on Monday at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge execution ground about nine miles (15 kilometers) south of capital, Phnom Penh.

The radical regime instituted harsh measures that caused a massive number of deaths from forced labor, starvation, medical neglect and execution.

The crowds attending the ceremony have dwindled since the ceremony was initiated in the 1980s. However, Cambodians now have more hope of justice as a U.N.-backed tribunal is trying former Khmer Rouge leaders on charges including crimes against humanity and genocide.