Jan. 3 - Cambodian police fire at garment factory protesters in the capital, killing at least three people, witnesses said. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
At least three people were killed on Friday (January 3) when Cambodian military police opened fire to try to quell a protest by garment factory workers, two witnesses said. Two human rights workers who witnessed the chaos said three or four protesters had been killed as security forces armed with assault rifles and pistols shot at demonstrators who hurled rocks, bottles and petrol bombs outside a factory in the capital, Phnom Penh. The workers are among 350,000 on strike, demanding higher pay. Military police spokesman Kheng Tito said only one was killed and several were wounded, and that authorities are "securing the situation". Strikes over pay and working conditions have become common in Cambodia, where garments accounted for 75 percent of total exports of $5.22 billion in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund. Many Western brands, attracted by cheap labour, have turned to Asia to get their garments made at a cost that will make them attractive to customers in the troubled economies of Europe and North America looking for discounted clothing.