Saturday, March 6, 1999 Published at 23:28 GMT
Khmer Rouge 'Butcher' captured
1.7m people are thought to have died under the Khmer Rouge
The last Khmer Rouge guerrilla leader at large, military chief Ta Mok, has been arrested, the Cambodian authorities have said.
"At this time, we can say Ta Mok has been arrested by the government," Cambodian Co-Defence Minister Tea Banh announced.
He declined to give further details.
"We arrested Ta Mok this morning, north of Anlong Veng ... while he was trying to cross from Thailand into Cambodia," he said.
Cambodian television said the ageing guerrilla was being held in the capital Phnom Penh, awaiting trial.
Reign of terror
The Khmer Rouge's nominal leader, Khieu Samphan, and the group's top ideologue, Nuon Chea, both handed themselves over to the government in December.
They were allowed to retire into relative obscurity but the government has repeatedly insisted that it is would not consider any such deal for Ta Mok.
"We are looking for him in order to arrest him - and castrate him as well," he added with a laugh.
Earlier on Saturday, Thai military officials said aides close to Ta Mok had been seeking negotiations with the government towards a ceasefire deal. Major General Vivath Sattra-rak of the Thai army's border forces said Ta Mok was "tired of fighting and wants to stop".
Ta Mok's arrest comes just days after the United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, urged the Thai authorities to do everything in their power to apprehend him.
A UN legal panel has recommended putting senior Khmer Rouge leaders on trial outside the country on charges of crimes against humanity.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has said he would prefer the establishment of a South African-style Truth Commission as a way of achieving national reconciliation.