Mother, Toddler Injured in Acid Attack

A cosmetics seller at a market in Takeo province suffered serious burns Wednesday after another vendor doused her with acid, an attack that also left the woman’s 2-year-old daughter with minor injuries, police said.

Muong Sreymom, 31, was feeding her daughter near her stall at the Tonlab market in Kiri Vong district’s Preah Bat Chonchum commune just before 7 a.m. when a rival vendor, Deng Leakhena, 22, poured corrosive acid on her—splashing the toddler in the process—following a dispute over customers, according to district penal police officer Hem Sihakbora.

The acid burned Ms. Sreymom’s face, back, legs and one arm, Mr. Sihakbora said.

The perpetrator’s older brother, Deng Meas, 28, also allegedly attacked Ms. Sreymom’s husband, Luy Sovannaroth, 32, with a stick, but did not land any serious blows, he added.

“They attacked the victims at the same time, so it seems to have been planned in advance,” Mr. Sihakbora said of Wednesday’s attack, adding that the rival vendors also had a physical altercation on Monday after the siblings accused the couple of stealing their customers.

“Witnesses said that everyone was shocked when they saw what happened,” he said. “This was an inhumane act.”

Erin Bourgois, project manager at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC), said Ms. Sreymom was rushed to the Children’s Surgical Center in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district, which is equipped to deal with acid attack cases, with burns to an estimated 44 percent of her body. Ms. Bourgois said the little girl suffered burns to her face.

According to CASC, Wednesday’s acid attack was the third reported this year.

In April, a 41-year-old man in Banteay Meanchey province was left with serious burns on his face after his wife poured half a liter of acid on him during a domestic dispute. In July, a 30-year-old woman was doused in acid as she ate noodles at a market in the same province.

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