The opposition Sam Rainsy Party on Wednesday denounced attempts to blame it for Monday night’s grenade attack that killed one and injured eight at a central Phnom Penh amusement park.
Meanwhile, police said the investigation of the attack is continuing, there are no suspects and, contrary to some reports, the arrest of a man with a grenade Tuesday is unrelated to the case.
Police did not confirm Wednesday reports that government officials concluded the attack stemmed from a personal dispute.
Monday night’s grenade attack killed 19-year-old Chan Pich Reasey. Five people remained hospitalized Wednesday, two in serious condition. Officials said all five are expected to survive.
In its statement, the Sam Rainsy Party flatly denied any involvement. “Any such effort made by the ruling party or its associates is nothing but an obvious effort to set the scene for disqualification of our party, either before or after elections that the ruling party is afraid will go badly for them,” a party statement said.
The statement was issued after pro-CPP Koh Santepheap (Island of Peace) newspaper reported on a “reliable” source that two people had been arrested and that an audio tape implicated an opposition party named after its leader.
A government press conference allegedly scheduled to reveal the attack’s mastermind sparked rumors that an opposition party would be blamed. The conference was canceled Tuesday without explanation.
Meanwhile, police said Wednesday an arrest Tuesday of a man with a Chinese hand grenade is unrelated to the attack. Tim Prosar, Russei Keo district police chief, identified the man as 30-year-old Noun Savuth, a former bodyguard of resistance General Nhiek Bun Chhay. He was arrested in front of a garment factory in the district.
Rasmei Kampuchea, a leading Khmer-language daily, reported Wednesday a possible link between the two events and quoted a policeman saying Noun Savuth was one of many “terrorists” ordered by Nhiek Bun Chhay to disrupt the electoral process.