A man was killed and 11 others suffered shrapnel wounds on Tuesday night in an unprovoked grenade attack on a birthday party in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district, officials said yesterday.
Phlat commune police chief Ol Ron said the hand grenade was hurled into the middle of dancers at a birthday party in Tuol Kruos village at around 10:10 pm, killing a 30-year-old construction worker and wounding 11 adults and children.
Mr Ron said that according to witnesses, two men on a motorbike were seen driving away from the scene after the explosion.
Police later discovered a grenade spool behind a villager’s home and were able to deduce that the attacker threw the device from a distance of 29 meters from the dancers, said Mr Ron, noting that the grenade overshot the very center of the party by about five meters.
“If the grenade had fallen in the dance circle more people would have died and been injured,” Mr Ron said.
Police have not yet identified the suspects but the two men on the motorcycle are the main suspects, he added.
Phlat commune chief Uch Tha said that he believed that the attack might have stemmed from a dispute between local youths a few days before the attack. At that time, two groups of young men had quarrel during a dance about 500 meters from Tuesday’s party and explosion.
“I think it stemmed from personal disputes among the youths,” Mr Tha said.
Nouv Sam On, deputy director of Anlong Veng referral hospital, said that seven people are recovering in the hospital from shrapnel wounds. Four of the more seriously injured, a 17-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy and two men, were sent to Siem Reap provincial hospital at about 12 pm on Tuesday. Mr Sam On said the dead man, who was identified only as Mr Chan, had suffered serious injuries in his rib cage, jaws and head.