Japanese Ambassador, Police to Meet Following Shootings

The Japanese ambassador is set to meet with senior police officials to discuss the shooting of a Japanese tourist in Phnom Penh on Saturday, according to an embassy official, while the U.S. Embassy on Monday said it was “very troubled” by a similar attack on an American construction consultant Friday.

“Our ambassador [Kumamaru Yuji] will meet with some high-level authorities, first to register our concern, and [also] to ask the authorities to make the best effort to identify the perpetrators, to ask the police to do their proper job,” said Yo­shihiro Higuchi, deputy head of mission at the embassy.

At about 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sakiko Takayanagi, 33, a tourist, was shot in the left thigh after being robbed at gunpoint while walking near the popular Night Market in Daun Penh district.

Doctors operated on Ms. Takayanagi Sunday night, successfully removing the bullet that had been lodged in her leg, Mr. Higuchi said.

“She cannot move, so she has to spend a couple of days in the hospital before she will be able go back to Japan,” he added.

U.S. Embassy spokesman John Simmons on Monday added his voice to that of Mr. Higuchi, who on Sunday expressed concern for the safety of Japanese citizens in Cambodia.

“The U.S. Embassy is very troubled by the recent incidents of violent crime against American citizens and other foreign nationals in Phnom Penh. We call on the authorities to conduct prompt and thorough investigations necessary to bring the culprits to justice and to deter further crime,” Mr. Simmons said in an email.

At about 7 p.m. on Friday evening, Maurice and Debbie Law, both 57, were walking home from dinner when two men on a motorbike armed with handguns held them up near the intersection of streets 308 and 21 in Chamkar Mon district. After Ms. Law handed over her purse and iPhone, one of the gunmen shot Mr. Law in the groin at close range and sped away.

Ms. Law said Monday that it is unclear when her husband will be able to go home. “We don’t know at this stage. It depends on the healing,” she said.

Mr. Law was operated on late Friday at Calmette Hospital, where doctors tended to four perforations in his groin and left thigh caused by a single bullet.

Municipal and military police officials said they met Monday to discuss a joint investigation into the robbery-shootings, both perpetrated by a pair of armed gunmen on a single motorbike.

“Today, high-ranking officials from both forces held a meeting to find the suspects,” deputy municipal military police chief Colonel Pol Davy said.

“Our forces cannot ignore this matter because it involves the armed robbery of visitors,” Col. Davy added.

Newly appointed municipal military police commander Major General Roth Sreang said authorities were seeking the gunmen.

“Our forces are hunting them [the suspects],” Maj. Gen. Sreang said, declining to provide further details.

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