Khmer hostage still missing

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A British mine clearing expert, reported heading for freedom after being held more than eight months by Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia, has failed to meet government troops at an expected rendezvous, a senior military officer said Monday.

Christopher Howes, 36, from Bristol, and his Cambodian interpreter, Houn Hourth, were supposedly released by defecting guerrillas more than a week ago.

After the latest failure to find them, Khun Savoeun, the commander of military region 5, said: "We will send our men to the (Cambodian-Thai) border again to investigate the matter from top to bottom."

The men were kidnapped in March in Siem Reap province, site of the famous Angkor temples.