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Festival stampede worst tragedy since Khmer Rouge, says PM

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Reuters/Chor Sokunthea

More than 330 festival-goers were killed in a stampede Monday on a bridge in Phnom Penh. The Prime Minister called it the country’s worst tragedy since the Khmer Rouge.


"This is the biggest tragedy since the Pol Pot regime," said Prime Minister Hun Sen in a live television broadcast early Tuesday morning.

Pol Pot was the leader of the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, leaving up to a quarter of the population dead.

At least 339 people died in the stampede, and more than 300 were injured. The circumstances that triggered the stampede remain unclear.

Millions of people were in the streets for the third, and final, day of the Water Festival, which marks the reversal of the flow between the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers.