Image of Asia: Burning incense in memory of the Khmer Rouge victims



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In this photo by Heng Sinith, a woman burns incense sticks as she prays in front of a stupa containing hundreds of human skulls and bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, at the Choeung Ek memorial on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Several hundred mourners and Buddhist monks gathered at the former execution ground to remember the day 40 years ago that the country fell to the Khmer Rouge. The regime held power for four years during which an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died from starvation, slave labor and wholesale murder and bloody purges. After the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in January 1979, the burial pits of the execution site were excavated and the skulls of the victims were put in a stupa as a reminder of what the country endured.

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