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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June 2005, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Boy dies as Cambodia siege ends
An armed Cambodian policeman guards the gate of Siem Reap International School in Siem Reap, 16 June 2005
Police said the child was shot by the hostage takers
A Canadian two-year-old boy has been killed at an international school in Cambodia where gunmen had taken dozens of pupils and teachers hostage.

Police ended the siege by storming the school in Siem Reap, near the tourist site of Angkor Wat, officials say.

They say they have arrested four captors who had demanded $1,000, arms and a vehicle to take them to Thailand.

The children, aged between two and six, who come from the UK, US and countries in Asia, are now free.

Siem Reap is popular with tourists for the ancient monument of Angkor Wat.

The town is relatively prosperous, compared to most of Cambodia - one of the poorest countries in South East Asia.

Kindergarten captives

Masked men armed with shotguns were said to have stormed the Siem Reap International School at about 0930 (0230 GMT).

Map showing Cambodia
We heard two gunshots from inside the school which obviously made us very concerned about the safety of our children
Tan Seok Ho, Siem Reap, Cambodia

They seized two kindergarten classes, one of which was later released.

About 30 pupils and staff were held for several hours.

The children are reported to have come from Japan and several other Asian countries, Australia, the US and across Europe. One British child was among the hostages.

The Canadian child had been shot by captors before forces moved in, police said.

The attackers killed him when officials declined to meet all demands, the information minister told the Associated Press.

"They also threatened to kill the children one by one," Khieu Kanharith said.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
The school is near Cambodia's most famous tourist attraction

But parents at the school said they saw armed officers enter the compound during the afternoon - and then they heard gunfire.

Eyewitnesses spoke of chaotic scenes as pupils emerged and were reunited with anxious parents.

Initial reports said there were six hostage-takers and two had died in the shoot-out. The motive for their attack is still unclear.

Diplomatic sources believe Thursday's incident may have been a robbery that had gone wrong.

Acts of terrorism are extremely unusual in Cambodia, the BBC's Guy Delauney reports from the capital, Phnom Penh.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch footage from the scene of the siege



SEE ALSO
In pictures: Cambodian school siege
16 Jun 05 |  In Pictures
Siem Reap: Cambodia's gateway town
16 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Cambodia
01 Apr 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Cambodia
30 Apr 05 |  Country profiles



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