Authorities have bolstered security across Cambodia in response to last week’s coordinated terror attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead, according to a statement posted to the National Police’s website on Tuesday.
General Chhay Kimkhoeun, chief of staff of the National Police, said in the statement that the move to increase security was aimed at protecting not only Cambodian citizens, but also foreign visitors and residents, noting that particular attention was being paid to last night’s FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Cambodia and Japan at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.
“The forces were deployed in Phnom Penh and the provinces after the reports of terrorism in the world, especially in Paris, and because Cambodia is also the host of the World Cup qualifying match,” Lieutenant General Kimkhoeun said.
Kompong Cham provincial police chief Pen Roath said on Tuesday that he had received orders from National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun to deploy armed forces near areas frequented by foreigners.
“We are very concerned about strengthening security because terrorists never let us know if they want to attack, which could happen if we are careless,” he said.
Pointing to the deadly bombing of Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine in August, Brigadier General Roath said that while Cambodians and their regional neighbors were not likely to draw the attention of militants, Westerners were potential targets.
“The terrorists are not enemies of the Thai people,” he said. “The reason they attacked Thailand is because there are a lot of Western people living in that country.”
While admitting authorities had no evidence of an imminent attack, Brig. Gen. Roath said police needed to remain vigilant.
“I think that terrorists probably have plans already to attack all countries, but they are now waiting for the order to attack,” he said.
He declined to say how many security personnel had been deployed.
“I am not able to tell you about the number of our armed forces because the enemy could attack us if they knew our plan beforehand,” he said.