Man Arrested for Murder of Alleged Sorcerer

Police in Kompong Chhnang province Tuesday arrested a 43-year-old man for allegedly hacking to death a man he suspected of being a sorcerer responsible for his wife’s illness.

Sou El, a farmer, was arrested after viciously murdering 44-year-old former monk Sok Sophat with a machete at a roadside shop in Toek Phos district’s Chieb commune on Monday, district police chief Khem Vibol said Tuesday.

“As soon as [Mr. El] saw the victim, he took his machete and attacked…. The victim tried to run, but it was too late,” Mr. Vibol said.

“The victim received six blows of the machete—three times on the top of his head, one on his chin, one on his left wrist and one on his stomach,” he said. “He died in a pool of his own blood.”

Pol Vuthy, the deputy provincial police chief in charge of the case, said Mr. El admitted to the murder and told police he believed Sok Sophat had been a sorcerer who put a curse on his wife, causing her to become ill.

“He admitted that he attempted to kill the victim three times in the past,” he said.

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