Cambodia has deployed soldiers and divers to scour the island of Koh Rong in the search for British backpacker Amelia Bambridge, 21, who vanished on 24 October.
Nearly 200 armed forces personnel and police officers are combing the island in an attempt to find Amelia, who was last seen at a beach party.
Kheang Phearun, a spokesman for the provincial administration, said: "Divers are searching in the sea around Koh Rong while the others are scanning the jungle. We have not yet found the missing British woman."
This is my friend Amelia Bambridge, she has not been seen now for 48 hours. She was last seen in Kaoh Rong and was wearing a green tropical shirt. If there is anyone with any info please DM the instagrams below. Please share to anyone travelling #kaohrong #Cambodia pic.twitter.com/61ZPnHg5Wq— sophiereed (@SophieeReed) October 25, 2019
Social media in Britain is full of people sending best wishes and offering hope to Amelia’s family, who lives in Worthing, near Brighton on the south coast of England.
Many people also took to Twitter to defend the right of young women to travel the world and criticised those who had blamed her for travelling alone.
Amelia was last seen at 3.30am at a beach party but the alarm was not raised until she failed to check out of her hostel later that day.
@ameliabambridge has been missing since the 23rd October from police beach, Koh Rong Island, Cambodia. URGENT APPEAL! Any infromation please contact me. She was saying at Nest beach hostel. pic.twitter.com/hZ7ZKjYMaO— Georgie Bambridge (@georgie133) October 25, 2019
Her bag and phone was reportedly found at the ironically named Police Beach.
Her family have flown to Cambodia and arrived in the nearby city of Sihanoukville.
Koh Rong is an island popular with backpackers because of its cheap guesthouses, beachside bars and beautiful beaches.
The amount of victim blaming tweets about Amelia Bambridge are sickening. If something has happened to her, it's not her fault for being a young woman exploring the world. So tired of people essentially saying young women deserve to be targeted if they dare to venture outside.— Heather 'Spoop Dogg' Phelps (@_ginandchronic) October 27, 2019
In 1975 the Khmer Rouge took over the country under Pol Pot, renamed it Kampuchea and introduced an extreme Maoist society where intellectuals were considered suspect and cities were emptied.
Millions of Cambodians people died before the Vietnamese Army marched in and ousted the Khmer Rouge, who retreated to western Cambodia and fought a guerrilla war until 1998.
Instead of blaming Amelia Bambridge for her disappearance for travelling around the world and saying that women should not go travelling or packpacking, how about we stop blaming women and teach people not to attack, murder and rape people instead 😐😐— Mollie Potter⭐️ (@Mozzarp) October 28, 2019
Although Cambodia is now generally considered safe, foreigners are occasionally preyed upon in a country where poverty is endemic.
Preah Sihanouk authorities are searching for British backpacker Amelia Bambridge missing in Koh Rong island pic.twitter.com/nSCjOycloC— 𝙉𝙤𝙖𝙣 𝙎𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙞𝙗𝙤𝙩𝙝 (@noansereiboth) October 27, 2019
In 2004 British backpacker Eddie Gibson, 19, vanished in Poipet, near the border with Thailand. A decaded later bones were discovered but the Cambodian police later said they did not belong to Gibson.
❗️PLEASE SHARE ❗️this is my friend and she’s been missing since Thursday after a beach party in Koh Rong. She is solo travelling and without her bag, purse and bank cards. If anyone has any information please contact the people mentioned, we want her home and safe ❤️ #cambodia pic.twitter.com/WdbwDszAXW— Baby (@bethanypxx) October 27, 2019
Last week a court charged three Cambodian men with raping a French tourist in the coastal province of Kampot.
In 2013 the mutilated body of French tourist Ophelie Begnis, 25, was found floating in a river near Kampot. Olivier Van den Bogaert, 40, from Belgium, was charged with her rape and murder but later released due to a lack of evidence.