Three men were arrested Monday evening in Pursat province for their alleged involvement in a brawl between two rival groups Sunday that left one participant dead on the dance floor at a post-harvest festival, police said Tuesday.
On Sunday afternoon, the two sides—each numbering between five and 10 men—got into a heated argument over their volleyball game in Krakor district, deputy district police chief Morl Soth said.
Mr. Soth said the groups then had another run-in at about 10 p.m. when they met on the outdoor dance floor at a party marking the end of the harvest season, with one man accusing another of stepping on his foot. Almost immediately, he said, the men on one side were brandishing weapons.
“Before it happened, no one saw any weapons, but when the fighting started all of the suspects had axes or machetes,” he said.
Keo Sokunthea, the provincial deputy police chief, said the clash was brief and the unarmed group quickly fled, but one man was left behind.
“One man in the group of victims tried to run from the scene, but unfortunately, he was surrounded by the group of suspects,” he said.
Mr. Sokunthea said the victim, identified as Chan Pheara, 21, was killed instantly by a single ax blow to the head before the assailants escaped.
He added that after the fight, police collected evidence at the scene, including “two axes and some bloody wooden clubs” before arresting An Rith, 20; Lat Lonh, 33; and Les Pou, 25, at their shared home in Svay Sar commune.
Mr. Soth said the three suspects were being held at the district police station for questioning while officers continue to search for five or six more.