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

Published May 20, 2013

| 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.

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