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Today in 1979 Vietnamese troops liberated Cambodia from Pol Pot

Today is a very emotional day for Cambodians and their friends across the world. On January 7, 1979 Vietnamese troops liberated the Cambodian people from the tyrannical rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Cambodians are remembering the "Killing Fields" today, reported Al Jazeera on Jan. 1, 2014.

Human skulls from the Khmer Rouge killings sit in a glass case at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center in Phnom Penh province.
Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images

Bou Meng and Chum Mey have shared their story of surviving this ordeal. Thirty-five years ago today they both walked free from a prison in Cambodia's capital, where there were an estimated 14,000 adults and children interrogated, tortured and sent for execution at mass gravesites. Bou Meng and Chum Mey were among the few who survived Pol Pot's infamous S-21 interrogation center.

On January 7, 1979, Vietnamese troops supported a small contingent of Cambodian soldiers who together entered Phnom Penh and toppled the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Pol Pot and his henchmen fled to the jungles on the Thai border. This was the end of a nightmare for the Cambodians who saw 1.7 million people murdered by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his party venerate the day which they came to power. However, opponents of the Cambodian People's Party say January 7 marks the first day of an invasion and 10-year occupation by what they consider Cambodia's historic enemy, Vietnam. Shockingly, in view of the savagery of Pol Pot's regime, these opponents of Hun Sen say the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and did not save Cambodia.

It appears from the facts that the Vietnamese troops saved the lives of millions of Cambodians by invading in 1979. Cambodia has marked the 24th anniversary of the end of brutal Khmer Rouge rule, reports the BBC. In the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, hundreds of balloons and doves were released, as the head of Cambodia's ruling party urged justice for ex-Khmer Rouge leaders.

Chea Sim told about 5,000 people at the Cambodia People's Party headquarters, "Although time flies, still it cannot allow Cambodians to forget the most bitter, painful and indescribable past that they suffered during a period of three years, eight months and 20 days under the genocidal regime." People worldwide were shocked when the facts about the "Killing Fields" were released to the public and remain hopeful this type of horrible thing will never again happen in Cambodia, or elsewhere.

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