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Cambodian authorities clash with anti-government demonstrators

Cambodian authorities clash with anti-government demonstrators
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Cambodian security guards and city workers dismantled a camp occupied by anti-government demonstrators on Saturday as riot police looked on.

Hundreds of supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been camped at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park since mid-December, the only place in the city where protests are allowed.

Many demonstrators fled, some clutching babies, when they saw the police coming.

It comes a day after a bloody crackdown on garment factory workers allied with the protest movement. At least three people were killed in on Friday when police opened fire on the workers.

The CNRP has promised to double the monthly wage of 350,000 garment workers across Cambodia to about 120 euros if it wins a re-run of the July election it says was rigged. The prime minister is refusing to hold a re-run.

The government offered to raise the minimum wage from 58 euros a month to the equivalent of 70 euros a month. Unions have rejected that.

Many big brands outsource clothing and footwear manufacturing to Cambodia, because of cheap labour costs.

Jeans made in Cambodia usually sell in Europe and the United States for a higher price per pair than the workers’ 58 euros a month income. Many struggle to make ends meet.