Sheer terror: A Cambodian recalls escape from genocide

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Sheer terror: A Cambodian recalls escape from genocide

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:10 pm

People of Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, greet Vietnamese and Cambodian soldiers in 1979. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

By Phuoc Tuan
January 11, 2019

Lac Son felt he had few options: either get drafted into their army, or stay and die of torture, execution or starvation.He chose to make a break for freedom.

Villagers were dying in droves. Many were tortured and executed, and even more were drafted to be a part of their army. The lucky ones who managed to survive were all horrifically malnourished, with no strength in their limbs. Son knew that nothing but death awaited his family if they stayed. Risking their lives and escaping was the only way left, if they wanted to live.

In the dead of night, a group of 40 people, including small children and the elderly, packed their belongings and snuck out of the village. As always, every night, numerous Khmer Rouge guards were stationed on all paths in and out of the village."If you got caught, they would kill you on the spot," Son said.

While some of them tried to catch some sleep, others started to notice small balls of light flickering in the distance. Shortly after, sounds of men yelling from afar started to get louder and louder. The Khmer Rouge was onto them.

"Everyone went hysterical. My brother, who was small back then, wailed in fear after he heard the first gunshot. My mother had to cover his mouth and try to calm him down. We all thought that was it," Son said.

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