At least one bodyguard of Prime Minister Hun Sen was killed Saturday night in a shooting at the premier’s residence near Independence Monument, witnesses and police said.
Police gave conflicting accounts of the shooting, but witnesses near the scene said they heard men arguing about duty before eight to 10 gunshots were fired at about 10 pm. An ambulance then arrived to take away at least one body from the premier’s compound.
Police for the Daun Penh district confirmed that a man had been killed at the residence but could provide no details or a possible motive. A district police official said police were not being allowed to investigate the shooting and would not give the victim’s name.
Commune police also had scant information on the incident. Bun Pel, a police official in Chaktomuk commune, said, “We have no right to do any investigation. We do not know what happened.”
Another commune police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two men were killed in the encounter.
Witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity said one bodyguard shot another and then shot himself in a drunken dispute.
At the time of the shooting the prime minister was not staying at the Daun Penh residence.
Suon Chheangly, Phnom Penh’s municipal police chief, said he did not know about the case nor whether a shooting had, in fact, taken place.
Hun Sen formed his own highly secretive bodyguard unit in 1995 after he reportedly uncovered and foiled an assassination plot. The unit is headed by Hing Bunheang and is believed to employ an estimated 2,000 bodyguards.