No Leads Yet in Funcinpec Grenade Attack

Authorities were no closer Sunday to an arrest in Wednes­day’s grenade attack against Funcinpec headquarters, police said.

The two men who climbed the fence and lobbed two grenades into the royalist party compound, next door to the French Embas­sy, remain unknown, police sources said. Shrapnel wounded two members of the compound grounds staff, one of them seriously, authorities said.

Sar Kheng, the CPP official who serves as co-Minister of the Interior with his Funcinpec colleague, You Hock­ry, declined comment outside the Council of Ministers meeting Friday. He referred all questions to You Hockry.

“Nothing has been found, there is nothing to say,” You Hockry told reporters. “We have not found the cause of the grenade attack.” He also said there was as yet no evidence that the attack was political. Funcinpec issued a statement Thursday expressing sorrow for the victims and condemning the attack as cruel and inhuman. “It is a crime for which the criminal must be arrested and convicted,” the statement read.

The statement noted that the run-up has begun for February’s commune elections, and that the party was maintaining its stance of taking part in the elections without fear and without backing off. It appealed to the government and police authorities to take effective measures to arrest the “hitmen” regardless of political affiliation. The statement said Funcinpec will continue to cooperate with the CPP to ensure the political stability of the country. Leaders of the two parties have signed an agreement vowing to eliminate violence during the election campaign.

Serey Kosal, deputy general secretary for Funcinpec, said it was too early to tell whether the motive of the attack was political.

“We need evidence. We need proof,” he said.

US Ambassador Kent Wiede­mann, who has had several discussions with Prime Minister Hun Sen on election violence, ech­oed those sentiments, and added that Wednesday’s attack was not necessarily a reflection on the government’s efforts to curb political violence.

“It’s a long way from saying that people should feel safe and secure in the electoral process to saying there should be no crime in Cambodia,” Wiedemann said.

 

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