Gov’t Official Recovering Well After Acid Attack

Council of Ministers Secretary of State Ngor Srun is recovering well in Thailand after being attacked with acid in Phnom Penh on Sunday, his sister-in-law, Chea Sam Ath, said Tuesday.

Although the acid hit Ngor Srun’s face, his wounds are superficial, and he should be able to return soon to Cambodia following medical treatment in Thailand, Chea Sam Ath said.

“I saw him on Sunday before he left for Thailand at 4 pm,” Chea Sam Ath said by telephone. “[He is] just a little burned, and it did not affect his eyes,” she said. “He can be as normal as ever after treatment,” she added.

Chea Sam Ath is the older sister of Ngor Srun’s wife, Chea Sam Eng, and the daughter of Senate and CPP President Chea Sim.

Ngor Srun was attacked at a tire shop in Prampi Makara district’s Monorom commune while he was waiting for the tires to be checked on his Lexus SUV.

Police have made little progress identifying the acid attackers, Prampi Makara district police chief Yim Simony said Tuesday. A complaint has not yet been filed to police by Ngor Srun or his family, Yim Simony said.

“The police could not reach the victim or his family to verify the issue,” he said. “We are now trying to contact [them]…. We could not say if this is a political case or a personal case.”

Chea Sam Ath said that a police complaint has not been filed as the attack was a “personal matter,” though she added that she did not know who was behind the incident.

Local rights group Licadho said Ngor Srun is the highest-ranking politician ever to be attacked with acid.

Sunday’s incident marks the seventh acid attack case so far this year, said Kek Galabru, Licadho’s president. The group has documented 127 acid attacks in Cam­bodia since 1999, which resulted in seven deaths, she said.

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