Yu Manjiang (L), commander officer of the Chinese fleet visiting Cambodia, is welcomed during a ceremony in Phnom Penh February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Thursday said he had authorized the use of helicopter gunships to crack down on rampant illegal logging in an effort to curb deforestation.Hun Sen recently appointed armed forces deputy commander-in-chief General Sao Sokha and the head of the military police to curb illegal logging and timber smuggling.Hun Sen said his government had also confiscated nearly one million hectares (2.5 million acres) of land from private firms in an effort to stop illegal forest clearance.In the last few decades a surge in illegal logging has contributed to a sharp drop in Cambodia's forest cover, which fell from 73 percent in 1990 to 57 percent in 2010, according to the United Nations.
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