Foreign governments, human rights groups and local election officials on Friday condemned the grenade attack that left one man dead, and called on the government to launch an immediate investigation.
“While we do not have all the details of the incident, we abhor and condemn the use of violence and terrorism,” US State Department deputy spokesman James Foley said Friday.
“We urge that this incident be urgently and thoroughly investigated by the Cambodian authorities and that those responsible be brought to justice,” he said.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Domingo Siazon, who earlier this week was criticized by opposition leaders for urging them to quickly join the government, called on Cambodia to ensure the safety of all political party leaders.
Siazon said it appeared the Sam Rainsy Party members were “merely exercising their right to peaceful demonstration,” and said it was “unfortunate” the attack came not only at a time when hopes are high for political stability, but just days after a UN report was issued stating that post-poll violence had been minimal.
He also call again for a government to be formed quickly.
The London-based Amnesty International condemned “yet more reports of violence on the streets of Phnom Penh.”
Cambodia’s National Election Committee offered its condolences to the family of the attack’s lone victim, Sieng Sean, and called for an immediate investigation by “competent authorities”.
“This shameful act proves that now, even more than before, everyone should work together in order to avoid this kind of incident and restore lasting peace to Cambodia,” the NEC said in a faxed statement.
A longtime European observer of Cambodia said the attack was an “extremely bad sign” for the country and urged the international community to speak out.
“It’s a slap in the face to all those diplomats who have in the past and very recently confused diplomacy with unprincipled opportunism,” he said.