Students in Cambodia have re-enacted a bloody Khmer Rouge massacre to mark the annual 'Day of Anger' at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom Penh.

The black-clad students recreated some of the atrocities carried out by the Maoist regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot. Almost a quarter of Cambodia's population of eight million were wiped out under the Khmer Rouge through torture, execution, starvation and exhaustion.

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Cambodian students take part in a performance to mark the annual 'Day of Anger' at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom Penh. More than 1,000 Cambodians joined an emotional re-enactment of a Khmer Rouge massacre at a "Day of Anger" memorialAFP
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Cambodian students re-enact a Khmer Rouge massacre to mark the annual 'Day of Anger' at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom PenhAFP
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Students take part in a performance to mark the annual 'Day of Anger' at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom PenhAFP
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Cambodian actors perform a play based on the actions of the Khmer Rouge regime at the Choeung Ek MemorialReuters

The Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975 after a siege. They carried out a radical programme of reforms that included confiscating all private property and relocating people from cities to collective farms. Families were split up, schools were outlawed, currency was abolished and forced labour was widespread.

Every Cambodian was forced to become a farmer, but as the city dwellers had no agricultural knowledge, famine was inevitable.

The Khmer Rouge executed huge numbers of people: those they suspected of being spies, anyone carrying out any religious observance, and anyone they thought might be intellectuals – such as people wearing glasses.

The Khmer Rouge regime fell in 1978 after a failed invasion of Vietnam. Between 1.4 and 2.2 million people died of execution, starvation, exhaustion or lack of medical care during the Khmer rouge regime.

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17 April 1975: Khmer Rouge fighters celebrate as they enter Phnom Penh, the capital of CambodiaAFP
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17 April 1975: A Khmer Rouge guerrilla holding a gun rides a motorcycle into Phnom Penh on the day Cambodia fell under the control of the Communist Khmer Rouge forces. The Cambodian capital surrendered after a three and a half-month siegeAFP
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17 April 1975: A woman cries over a dead body after the Khmer Rouge entered the Cambodian capitalAFP
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Cambodian civilians and Vietnamese soldiers open mass gravesGetty
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Left: An undated file picture of Pol Pot, probably taken in 1989 in western Cambodia. Right: Former top members of the Khmer Rouge: prime minister Khieu Samphan (top-L), deputy Nuon Chea (top-R), army chief of staff Ta Mok (bottom-L) and former foreign minister Ieng Sary (bottom-R)AFP
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27 November 1991: Khieu Samphan, then leader of the Khmer Rouge, is pictured wearing an army helmet and a pair of underpants as a bandage after he was clubbed by an angry mob in Phnom PenhAFP
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Former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot talks to a journalist in the guerrilla's jungle hide-out in Northern Cambodia, reportedly on 4 January 1998. The photographer claims that his camera was wrongly set and that the date showing is erroneous. Pol Pot died on 15 April 1998AFP
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20 May 2014: A Cambodian Buddhist monk looks at skulls displayed at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial during the annual "Day of Anger" in Phnom PenhAFP