On Tonle Sap Lake, Another Attack Over Fishing

The body of a fisherman was discovered floating in the Tonle Sap lake in Kompong Chhnang province’s Boribor district on Tuesday after a vicious boating attack, police said Wednesday, in what is the fourth such incident on the lake this year.

The body of Ny Ne, 31, was found floating in the lake at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday after another fishing boat rammed into his own on Monday night, said Chhnok Trou commune police chief Seng Dy.

“The victim could have died by drowning, or from his injuries because his neck and right hand was broken,” he said.

Mr. Dy said that at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday, three fishing boats were chasing Ny Ne’s boat because they suspected him of using illegal electrified fishing gear.

One of the three boats rammed Ny Ne’s boat, sending him into the water, the police chief said, adding that the victim’s father-in-law, Horn Ry, and his brother-in-law, Ry Thea, were also on the vessel and attempted to escape.

“The victims drove the boat into shore to escape from the attack but the suspects crashed into their boat again and caused it to sink,” Mr. Dy said.

Mr. Ry, 49, and his son Ry Thea, 12, frantically swam to shore as their attackers attempted to hack them with machetes, he said.

“Local villagers came to help and called our police for intervention…. We arrived at the scene quickly, but we did not see any suspects and we could not find Mr. Ne.”

Chan Rith, chief of the provincial police’s waterway-traffic police bureau, said there have been a total of four such attacks on the Tonle Sap this year.

“So far this year, we have had four cases,” he said. “Three people died, six were injured, and two people were sent to the court.”

Mr. Rith added that the attacks seem to be on the rise, as only six similar incidents, in which four or five people died, were reported in all of last year.

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