Malaysians, Soldiers Ambushed in Koh Kong

Two Malaysian businessmen and two Cambodian soldiers were killed in an ambush Friday in a remote part of Koh Kong province, provincial officials confirmed Monday.

Thmar Da, a senior RCAF official based in the province, said robbery was the motive for the attack in Koh Kong district, about 50 km east of Koh Kong town.

A third Cambodian soldier was also wounded in the attack, he added.

A source close to the investigation identified the Malaysians as Ting Toon Ming and Wong Kohn Hua, ages unknown. They were employees of the Malaysian timber company, GAT Interna­tional Ltd, according to the source. Their bodies have been repatriated, the source said.

Provincial police chief Yem Pleung said Monday that the robbers used B-40 rockets in the ambush. It took place in GAT’s logging concession, where the two businessmen worked.

Thmar Da said the three soldiers, from Mili­tary Region 5, were assigned to the businessmen as bodyguards.

Thmar Da claimed the robbers were Khmer Rouge rebels, but Yem Pleung said this could not be confirmed. Both said the concession area was a frequent target of ambushes and kidnappings.

Ung Yorn, second deputy governor of Koh Kong, said territory near the concession area had formerly been controlled by the Khmer Rouge.

He too said the area had been the site of crimes in recent months.

“They’re usually not simple robberies, but come out of business disputes,” Ung Yorn said.

About a month ago 12 Ma­laysians were released after their company paid a ransom to kidnappers, Ung Yorn said. Logging machinery is also frequently stolen, he added.

Yem Pleung said it may be difficult to find the suspects because of rough mountain terrain.

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