Military Police Officer Shot Dead in Firefight

A military police officer was shot dead during a firefight with four suspected drug dealers in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district on Wednesday afternoon, which also resulted in the death of one of the suspects, police said.

The deadly shootout occurred when more than 20 municipal military police officers and a handful of local police surrounded and attempted to raid a villa on Street 351 believed to be the base of operations for a local drug-trafficking ring, according to National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy.

“For two hours, we tried to gain access, but the suspects were shooting at us,” Brigadier General Hy said.

“They hit one of our military police officers, and he died shortly afterward at Calmette Hospital,” he said, noting that the suspects, armed with pistols and a single assault rifle, had fired the first shots.

“I’m not sure how exactly our officer died, but when the suspects started shooting at us, we had the right to protect ourselves,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Hy refused to give the names of the dead officer and slain suspect.

He said the three surviving suspects had eventually surrendered to authorities and were arrested. Afterward, he said, officers at the scene seized four pistols, a rusty AK-47 assault rifle and two luxury SUVs, including an Audi bearing police license plates of unverified authenticity.

“But we didn’t find any drugs, so we need to begin questioning them now,” he said, adding that the three suspects were being held at the municipal military police headquarters.

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