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.

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.