BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Thai military sources said Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot has died, but the report Thursday could not be independently confirmed.

There was no official announcement of Pol Pot's death from either the Thai or Cambodian governments. And a Khmer Rouge command post, contacted by telephone from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, said Pol Pot was still alive.

A military officer, contacted by telephone near the Thai-Cambodian border, said the 73-year-old Pol Pot died of natural causes late Wednesday near the former Khmer Rouge stonghold of Anlong Veng in northern Cambodia.

``He just didn't wake up,'' said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There had been a number of reports of the ailing leader's death in recent years.

Pol Pot is held responsible for the deaths of up to 2 million Cambodians through mass execution, disease and starvation during the mid-1970s.

Inspired by the radical communism of China's Mao Zedong, the Khmer Rouge sought to build an agrarian paradise when they seized power in 1975. Instead, Cambodia became a vast killing field over the next four years. One person in five died of starvation, overwork, illness or execution.

Pol Pot has never shown regret, or even recognition of the misery he caused.

His ``conscience is clear'' he told a Western journalist in October 1997. While he acknowledged ``mistakes,'' he suggested he had been the target of a plot to discredit him, perhaps by Cambodia's traditional enemy, Vietnam.