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One of the most notable atrocious acts of genocide since 1945 was visited on its own people by the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot given name Saloth Sar The guerrilla movement which successfully came to power using the destabilization of Cambodia as its starting point right after the United States put its military forces in Cambodia On April 17 1975 an entire nation vanished On that day Khmer Rouge troops marched into the capital city of Phnom Pehn proclaiming the year zero Within hours the army began evacuating the city of more than two and a half million inhabitants At this point the troops began an exercise in social control on a scale rarely seen Under the direction of the Angkar the Higher Committee the government moved people out of the cities into the countryside for a massive reeducation program At the same time there began the systematic killing of those Cambodians associated with earlier governments Moreover any Cambodian man woman or child who was seen as a threat or refused to obey orders was killed The ability to speak a western language was sufficient grounds They were killed in very ill-mannered ways the citizens were shot hanged beat starved and worked to death All foreigners were banned from Cambodia They were given a chance to leave However if any sign of resistance was shown by the people they were killed If you were caught traveling without permission by the khmer rouge guards in some cases you were sentences prison time or at worst death Many people were taken from their homes by the Khmer Rouge troops and sent to different areas to work for as long as Pol Pot saw fit Many of the civilians were also killed in the process The Khmer Rouge was also known for its prison camps which were very similar to a Nazi concentration camp The Khmer Rouge was short-lived but left a horrific mark on Cambodias history
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