A grenade attack on a wedding party in Kompong Thom province on Saturday night left nine revelers dead and 30 others injured, according to police, who have arrested a suspect believed to have been motivated by jealousy over the marriage.
At about 10:30 p.m., a man threw a grenade onto the top of a wedding tent in Prasat Sambor district, where dozens of party-goers were still dancing, police said. Six people were killed immediately from injuries to their upper bodies caused by the explosion. Three others died after being taken to a nearby health clinic.
All of the deceased were adults, including two women, police said. Of the 30 people who were injured, 15 were seriously wounded and 13 remained in the hospital as of Sunday evening.
“The dead bodies were sent to their homes last night, and the wounded victims were brought by three ambulances to hospitals,” Phan Sopheng, Kompong Thom provincial police chief, said Sunday.
The bride, Phoeun Sophal, 22, sustained severe injuries to her lower leg, while the groom, Chea Chork, 24, was wounded by shrapnel near his left shoulder. Among those killed was Van Lim, deputy chief of Choam village in Taing Krasao commune.
Mr. Sopheng said that a suspect, who he declined to name, was arrested at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning and is being questioned by provincial police.
“The case involves a personal dispute between the attacker and the victims,” he said, adding that he could not provide further information about the suspect as the police investigation into the attack is ongoing.
Outh Sam An, governor of Kompong Thom province, said that the suspect was in love with Ms. Sophal and had a history of aggression toward Mr. Chork.
“Both men loved the bride and were jealous of each other,” Mr. Sam An said, adding that commune police officers had previously detained the two men and “educated them to stop fighting each other.”
“The suspect is involved in a personal dispute [with the groom] and maybe he was using drugs, because the suspect was a migrant worker in Thailand,” Mr. Sam An said. “Previously, the groom and the grenade attacker argued with each other and our commune police had to educate them to stop fighting with each other.”
Police said they are still investigating the source of the grenade.
Following the attack, victims were rushed to two nearby clinics and the Kompong Thom provincial referral hospital. Hul Chanlong, administrator at the 515 Kompong Thom clinic, said the bride and groom were among the 13 victims still being treated there Sunday.