Polygamous Soldier Flees After Killing In-Laws

Police and military officials in Kompong Speu province are searching for a soldier with six wives who shot and killed his sister-in-law and mother-in-law on Saturday morning after berating his second wife for talking to another man the day before, local officials said Sunday.

Sam Sovan, 39, a warrant officer in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ (RCAF) Division 31, shot the two women in the chest with his military-issued AK-47 assault rifle at the house they shared with his wife in Phnom Sruoch district’s Dambouk Roung commune, then fled on foot, according to commune police chief Kong Kin.

“Sam Sovan shot the sister-in-law, then he shot the mother, then fled into the jungle of Thmar Poun mountain,” he said. “We surrounded some areas of the forest immediately, but we could not find the man.”

Mr. Kin identified the victims as Sam Sreyvit, 31, and Kong Hao, 75.

The commune police chief said Mr. Sovan was married to six women in the area, but had lately been staying with his second wife, Kong Srey Mao, 35, and her family. He said Mr. Sovan shot Ms. Srey Mao’s sister and mother at their home when he came to speak to his wife and learned that she was not there, adding that he had scolded his wife on Friday for speaking to another man and intended to address the offense once again.

“The man does not trust his wife because he himself has many wives,” Mr. Kin said.

District police chief Say Bunthan said his officers were helping soldiers from Division 31 search for Mr. Sovan.

“The commander of Division 31 telephoned the man yesterday, trying to persuade him to come back,” Mr. Bunthan said. “But he refused, and told the commander that if he sent soldiers to find him, he would kill all of them and then kill himself.”

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