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February 20, 2004

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In a region that's known hard times, Cambodia may have had the hardest, and its worst troubles were self-inflicted. This is the country of the 'Killing Fields,' an atrocity committed by the homegrown Khmer Rouge, who began existence as freedom fighters for an independent (and communist) Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge became one of the most brutal regimes, not an easy position to reach in the bloody twentieth century. Many estimates claim that they killed up to 1/3 of the population, and this doesn't include the raiding and killing they performed beyond Cambodia's borders. Why did they do it? For twisted ideology, their vision of a perfect state which any sane person would describe as an ant colony - droves of mindless workers supporting a centralized authority.
Killing Fields memorial: a tower built onsite that houses the skulls of victims, floor to roof.
Witnesses say that executioners beat babies against this tree and shattered their bodies. Bone shards and clothing fragments still cover the ground.