General Says Shot Fired At Vehicle

RCAF Brigadier General Khieng Savorn of the Sam Rainsy Party claimed an attack on his life Tuesday evening when two men on a motorbike apparently shot at his car while he was stopped at a busy Phnom Penh intersection.

Khieng Savorn said that his rear window exploded just as two men whizzed by on a motorbike and turned around to look at him.

But police and bystanders said Tue­s­day that what Khieng Sav­orn thought were gunshots was probably a lump of brick.

“They want to kill me because there is no soldier general who belongs to Sam Rainsy Party, only me,” said Khieng Savorn, standing near his Toyota Camry at Norodom and Mao Tse -tung boule­vards. The car’s rear window was shattered.

“I didn’t hear the sound of shooting,” said traffic police officer Chreuk Sokheng, who was standing nearby when the incident occurred around 6:30 pm.

“I saw a piece of brick inside the back of his car,” he said, suggesting that was the cause of the hub­bub. “If there was a shooting here, I would have heard it.”

He added: “Maybe the driver had a dispute with the thrower somewhere else.”

Other bystanders also said they did not hear gunshots. A motorcycle repairman, who identified himself only as Tol, 37, said, “I didn’t hear any shooting. But on the other hand, I was busy with my job.”

Khieng Savorn, however, said he was convinced he was targeted because of his involvement with the Sam Rainsy Party. The general, who defected from Funcinpec before the 2003 election, is a now a steering committee member for the opposition party.

Though he said he did not hear any gunshots, he said he believed his car was shot twice. “I believe that the shooter was a hitman for a political killing,” he said. “I never had a dispute with anybody.”

Opposition party Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang de­clined to comment on the incident Tuesday evening, saying only that he urged police to find the culprits.


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