No Motive Yet in Shooting of Russian on Phnom Penh Street

A Russian national was seriously injured after being shot in the stomach by a group of unknown assailants in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district in the early hours of Monday morning, police said yesterday.

Kostenko Konstantin, 42, a businessman who had been living in Kampot province for six months, was shot once as he was exiting his Toyota Highlander SUV outside a friend’s home in Tonle Bassac commune, municipal tourist police chief Mom Sitha said.

“The shot hit the victim’s left arm, then went into his stomach,” Mr. Sitha said, adding that police were still searching for the perpetrators.

“The gunmen are at large and there is little information because at the time of the shooting, there were no witnesses on the street,” he said.

In a private room at the Khemarak Both Poly Clinic on Street 271 yesterday, Mr. Konstantin—who was receiving blood transfusions and intravenous fluids—said he had been shot by one of four men who approached his car on two motorbikes.

Mr. Konstantin said he did not recognize the men, whom he identified only as Asian, and said that he had never had an argument with anyone that might prompt such an attack. He said the men had not stolen any of his possessions.

Dariara Nikludoo, 30, a friend of Mr. Konstantin visiting from Moscow, said by telephone that the attack took place at about midnight, after she and two other Russian women had driven with Mr. Konstantin from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, where they planned to spend the night at one of the women’s apartments.

“Some people on the motorbike …they had a gun, so my friend [Mr. Konstantin] asked us to go to the backseat,” Ms. Nikludoo said. “These men who had a gun, they shouted at us.”

Mr. Konstantin then told the men to leave and was promptly shot, Ms. Nikludoo said. “It was like a two-second situation,” she said.

Srey Phembunnarith, Mr. Konstantin’s doctor and the owner of the Khemarak Both Poly Clinic, said he had been transferred to the clinic yesterday morning from another hospital and that he was in serious condition, with a bullet still lodged in his right thigh.

“The victim is seriously injured. His treatment could take at least 10 days,” Mr. Phembunnarith said, adding that police and Russian Embassy officials had come to the clinic to visit Mr. Konstantin.

(Additional reporting by Khy Sovuthy)

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