A CPP commune official was killed by at least two assailants as he was walking home from his brother’s house in Prey Veng province on Monday, officials said.
Him Soeun, fifth commune counselor for Lvea commune, Preah Sdach district, was attacked by assailants wielding an ax and a machete, said Chan Prakab, deputy police chief of Prey Veng province, on Thursday. Him Soeun was hacked at least 10 times, and the attackers apparently cut off his hand off during the attack, Chan Prakab said.
“This was not a robbery—it is most likely a revenge or a politically motivated killing,” Chan Prakab said, adding that the victim was not robbed.
Him Soeun, the former Prey Kduoch village chief, is the ninth commune official or activist to be killed since the Feb 3 commune elections, and the second CPP official reportedly to die.
The authorities have made no arrests in the latest killing but have identified three suspects, a Ministry of Interior official said Thursday.
The official, who could not give information on the three suspects, said the ministry has not yet assigned a motive for the killing.
Chan Prakab confirmed that authorities have identified three suspects and will ask the provincial court today for arrest warrants.
Him Soeun was walking home with his brother at 7 pm on Monday, Chan Prakab said. He split up from his brother and was walking alone when he was attacked, the deputy police chief said. Him Soeun’s body was found immediately after the attack when villagers in the area, alerted by the victim’s screams, went to investigate, Chan Prakab said.
One human rights official said a preliminary investigation revealed that Him Soeun likely was killed out of revenge, but the official could not say if the killing was personal or political revenge.
Khieu Kanharith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Information and spokesman for the CPP, declined to comment on the killing on Thursday, saying that he had not yet received information on the case.