Police on Monday bristled at claims that the Sept 7 grenade explosions inside the Phnom Penh compound of Second Prime Minister Hun Sen were staged.
“Only an idiot would think that Hun Sen staged the grenade attack to accuse [opposition leader] Sam Rainsy,” Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said.
Municipal Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun also denied the attack was staged. “It is not true because no one can do that without hurting the people who were inside,” he said.
It is unclear who was inside the rarely visited mansion at the time. Authorities continue to investigate, but have come up with no suspects or arrests, according to Neth Savoeun.
Two grenades exploded 20 to 30 meters inside the compound on Sept 7 and a third undetonated grenade was found outside.
Hok Lundy, national police director-general, said Monday that he was too busy dealing with the demonstrations to comment on the grenade investigation.
Authorities have accused opposition leaders of inciting the incident and issued an edict preventing dozens of opposition members from leaving the country.
An Asian diplomat noted Tuesday that no one has been apprehended in the Sept 7 explosions or in the Aug 21 grenade attack outside the Interior Ministry that killed one, despite police postings near both sites. “It appears very strong that maybe it is orchestrated by the government side, but this has to be proven,” he said.
Nhiek Bun Chhay, who commands an estimated 1,500 resistance troops on the border, said last week that Hun Sen ordered the attack as a pretext to shut down opposition protests.
One military analyst said evidence was not conclusive: “I’m not convinced that [the grenades were] either thrown from inside or outside the residence.”
Neth Savoeun could not say how soon police will arrest a suspect as they need more time to gather “concrete” evidence.