Alleged Cambodian Thieves Killed
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) _ Two alleged thieves were bludgeoned to death today by an angry mob inside a Buddhist monastery.
Monks living at the Wat Botum pagoda in central Phnom Penh awoke before dawn to gunshots and ran outside to see a mob of 100 university students beating two young men accused of stealing a motorcycle inside the temple grounds.
``It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a lynch mob situation,″ said Tom Flint, one of two American monks at the temple. ``There was cheering. It was like animals over a kill _ barbaric violence out of control.″
Students and the poor are often allowed to live in Cambodian pagodas if they cannot afford their own lodging.
Vira Avalokita, a 55-year-old monk from Seattle, complained that the ``college student squatters″ at Wat Botum were so numerous that the sanctity of the pagoda was threatened.