Foreigner Man at Large After Briefly Kidnapping Girl

Police in Preah Sihanouk province are searching for a foreign man who kidnapped a 9-year-old girl near Sihanoukville International Airport on Tuesday morning, only to abandon her about 3 km down the road that evening, an official said Wednesday.

“We found the girl at 6:45 p.m. in the O’Trav area of Bit Traing commune, where the suspect dumped the girl and escaped,” said deputy provincial police chief Kol Phally, referring to an area just outside Sihanoukville in Prey Nop district.

Mr. Phally said the girl had been walking home from school with a group of friends at about 11:30 a.m. when the foreign man drove up alongside them in a car, grabbed the girl and sped away.

When the child’s friends told her parents what had happened, they informed police, who set up roadblocks along National Road 4, which links Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh.

“The suspect could not take the girl away because we set up checkpoints everywhere,” Mr. Phally said, adding that while police had questioned the girl about her ordeal, he could not say more about her abductor—or his apparent motivations—without compromising the manhunt.

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