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Originally published Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 10:27 PM

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Buddhist ceremony held at Khmer Rouge grave

More than 100 people have attended a Buddhist ceremony in rural Cambodia at the site of a freshly uncovered Khmer Rouge mass grave.

The Associated Press

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DO DONTREI, Cambodia —

More than 100 people have attended a Buddhist ceremony in rural Cambodia at the site of a freshly uncovered Khmer Rouge mass grave.

Buddhist monks led prayers and people came with offerings of food and drinks Thursday, five days after about 20 skulls and bone fragments were unearthed at the site of a former Khmer Rouge prison.

Village chief Chheng Theng said the offerings were meant to give sustenance to the souls of the dead "because we know they died hungry."

An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died of torture, starvation, medical neglect, hard labor and execution during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule.

Historians and researchers say there could be thousands of bodies buried at the site in northwestern Cambodia. It was one of nearly 200 Khmer Rouge prisons.

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