Police said on Wednesday that they were hunting for three brothers whose parents allegedly urged them to attack a neighbor who was killed after being caught in the middle of a dispute about an ox-cart track expansion in Pursat province.
Thou Samen, a 39-year-old barber, was attacked in his home in Krakor district’s Kbal Trach commune on Tuesday evening, commune police chief Khiev Sokha said. Three brothers—Ren Ry, 29, Ren Ra, 27 and Ren Ro, 25—were accused of using an ax, machete and hammer to kill him in a frenzied assault, Mr. Sokha said.
The three then fled and
haven’t been seen since, he said. Their parents, Kem Saren, 52, and Proem Khorn, 50, were arrested on Wednesday morning after several witnesses said they heard the pair ordering their sons to carry out the attack, Mr. Sokha said.
The police chief said the sons and their mother had been quarreling earlier in the day with another villager about plans to expand an ox-cart track outside their homes. While the family was keen to improve access to their house, the other villager was not happy about losing some of the land outside his home to a widened track.
Later on, the villager, whom police identified only as Taing, was seen by the family entering the house of Thou Samen, another neighbor, who gave him some water to drink. The three sons, angry that he might be siding with Taing, are then said to have fatally attacked Thou Samen, Mr. Sokha said.
“The three suspects, who were brothers, tore apart the victim’s fence to hack the victim, who was sitting alone at his house,” he said.
Mr. Sokha said the accused family had caused other problems in the village and was not well liked. He added that he had heard villagers wanted to submit a petition to have the family kicked out of the village.
The parents were sent to provincial police headquarters for questioning on Wednesday afternoon, said district police chief Em Run.
Mr. Run said police were still looking for the three brothers and an alert had been sent to all district police chiefs and areas on the border with Thailand.