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4 Dead After Cambodian Police Fire on Protesters

Image: Cambodian police stand guard during a garment workers' protest
Cambodian police stand guard during a garment workers' protest to demand higher wages in front of a factory in Phnom Penh on Jan. 3, 2014. LUC FORSYTH / AFP - Getty Images

At least four people were killed Friday when police outside Cambodia's capital opened fire to break up a protest by striking garment workers demanding a doubling of the minimum wage, police and human rights workers said.

Chuon Narin, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said the four were killed and about 20 others wounded in a southern suburb of the capital after several hundred workers blocking a road began burning tires and throwing objects at police officers. Witnesses said some officers fired AK-47 rifles into the air and that others shot at ground level.

Workers at most of Cambodia's more than 500 garment factories are on strike, demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $160 a month, double the current rate. The government has offered $100 a month.

Image: Striking garment workers set up barricades in Phnom Penh.
Striking garment workers set up barricades in Phnom Penh on Jan. 2. Omar Havana / Getty Images