A Sam Rainsy Party activist was killed, and his wife and three children injured, in a grenade attack in Kompong Cham province Monday, police and Sam Rainsy Party officials said.
Sy Mov, 49, died after a grenade was lobbed into his house in Kang Meas district’s Oung Dong Daiy village, police and party officials said Tuesday.
His house also functioned as a Sam Rainsy Party office, they said.
Party officials called the attack an act of intimidation by the CPP-led government.
“All we can think of is political reasons,” said opposition party spokesman Ung Bun-Ang. “It was a surprise. We thought [a resolution to the current political standoff] would be peaceful.”
But Seng Sokim, Kompong Cham provincial deputy police chief, said he did not believe the attack was politically motivated.
He said police were questioning one suspect, known only as Srong, at their headquarters on Tuesday.
Srong allegedly went to the victim’s house the day before the attack and demanded 25,000 riel ($6.25) for a baby pig that Sy Mov had agreed to purchase, Seng Sokim said. An argument ensued and Srong reportedly threatened Sy Mov, Seng Sokim added.
Ly Chakriya, chief of the monitoring unit with the human rights group Adhoc, said the attack came after a political argument between the two men.
The victim’s wife and children were only slightly injured in the attack, which occurred around
7 pm, Ly Chakriya said.
The Sam Rainsy Party and its Alliance of Democrats partner, Funcinpec, issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the killing, which follows a series of attacks on their supporters.
“We are quite concerned and quite worried about our safety,” Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou said by telephone.
In September, a grenade blast killed one Funcinpec official and injured a second in Kampot province. No arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, Sam Rainsy Party officials said four of their supporters, including the party’s No 3 electoral candidate in Svay Rieng province, were transferred from their jobs in the Education Ministry without prior notice. They said the ministry did not give ample reason for the transfers.
Opposition candidate Meas Kheng was removed as a chemistry professor at a Svay Chrum district high school and was placed in the district education office, according to a September ministry order.
In a separate order, dated early July, teachers Uk Suy, Hong Hean and Nheat Chham were transferred from a primary school in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district to other unnamed schools. The orders gave no further details.
Im Sethy, Education Ministry CPP secretary of state, declined questions on Tuesday.
(Additional reporting by Lor Chandara)