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Cambodia's Hun Sen says no one to be punished for stampede.

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 Kyodo

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday that no government officials would be punished for last week's stampede in the capital that killed more than 300 people.

Speaking at the inauguration of a new government building in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said the stampede was caused by carelessness but that ''no one is to be singled out for punishment.''

In the wake of the Nov. 22 stampede, lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party called for resignations of certain government members.

But Hun Sen ruled out any minister stepping down, saying it was merely an accident that could not have been anticipated.

Hun Sen, however, apologized to the public and admitted his government's ''incompetence'' and suggested it is a ''big historical lesson to be learned.''

The stampede, which occurred on the last day of the Cambodia's annual three-day water festival, claimed 351 lives and injured 395 others.

Hun Sen previously called the stampede the biggest tragedy in the country in more than three decades since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, referring to the mass killings between 1975 and 1979.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Geographic Code:9CAMB
Date:Nov 29, 2010
Words:186
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