PM Bodyguard, Police Officer Killed in Bokor

A bodyguard to Prime Minister Hun Sen and a Phnom Penh penal police official were shot dead while celebrating New Year’s Eve at the top of Bokor Na­tion­al Park in Kampot province on Saturday night, officials said Sunday.

According to a police report on the incident, Cheng Chheng, a 34-year-old bodyguard to Hun Sen, and Phnom Penh municipal police official Choung Mala, also 34, were both killed following a dis­pute at the party, said Puth Chandarith, Kampot provincial governor.

Police said the shooting happened at about 10:30 pm.

In Chiva, deputy provincial po­lice chief, said that police are in­ves­tigating two deaths on the mountain that night, and that no one has been arrested.

“I have ordered my colleagues to collect information from both sides, but now they are not yet back,” he said.

Police said the shooting happened a short distance from a large dance party being held at the de­serted Bokor Palace Hotel and Ca­sino at the top of the mountain.

Witnesses and police said shooting began when a car carrying bodyguards to Hun Sen shone its headlights into a group of about 20 people who were drinking together.

Some of the men in that group stood up and ordered the car’s driver, Cheng Chheng, to turn down the lights, but those inside the car could not hear, police said. When Cheng Chheng—who was with his two children, wife and mother-in-law—did not turn the lights down, a member of the group smashed a rock through a window of the car, police officials said.

The two men were both shot in the incident that followed, police said.

Pen Chandara, provincial military police chief, attributed the incident to excessive drinking, adding that three other people were in­jured.

He added that the three were sent to hospital in Kampot province the same night.

Environment Ministry officials said that they searched people for weapons on their way up the mountain. They added that about 1,000 foreigners and Cambodians visited the mountain to celebrate the new year at the deserted ca­sino.


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