Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government called Tuesday for Thai authorities to use the courts and not guns against its citizens caught illegally logging luxury woods.
A sharp rise in deaths was of great concern, spokesman Phay Siphan said after the government released figures showing 45 Cambodian loggers were shot and killed inside Thailand last year, three times the number killed in 2011 and five times the number shot dead in 2010.
Another two Cambodians have reportedly been killed so far this year.
The government statistics also showed authorities in Thailand last year arrested 264 Cambodians for illegal logging offences.
The Cambodian government "does not support criminals, but we do support a civilized judgement against human beings in accordance with the law," Phay Siphan said.
He said a solution required efforts from both sides, including reducing demand for timber such as rosewood.//DPA