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Cambodian security forces clash with protesters, leaving about 40 hurt; 3 lawmakers arrested

Cambodia Protests-1.jpg

Cambodian riot police officers stand guard behind barbed wire as they block entry to Freedom Park, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Three lawmakers from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party were detained and sent to police headquarters for leading about a hundred of their supporters to demonstrate in front of the park, asking authorities to open the site to the public. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) (The Associated Press)

Security forces and opposition protesters have clashed at an opposition rally in Cambodia's capital, leaving about 40 people injured.

City Hall official Khun Sreng said most of the injured were from the security forces. Civilian security auxiliaries are often employed by the government to break up protests.

Police arrested three lawmakers from the opposition party who led the protest to demand that Phnom Penh's Freedom Park be reopened to the public.

City authorities imposed a ban on public demonstrations in January and closed Freedom Park, which is now surrounded by razor wire, after a spasm of political violence.

The opposition claims that last year's general election was rigged and the Cambodia National Rescue Party robbed of victory. Its lawmakers have boycotted their seats in the National Assembly.