Four people were badly injured and two slightly when a startled water buffalo charged an early morning wedding party in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district on Thursday goring visitors with his horns before being shot dead, police said.
The three men and a woman badly injured by the buffalo—all government officials—were treated at Calmette Hospital for puncture wounds to thighs, chests and heads, Chroy Changva commune chief Pich Saroeun said Friday.
Pich Saroeun, who was present when the buffalo rampaged, said that some 100 brightly-dressed guests had assembled around 7am to take part in the traditional parade to the bride’s home.
A Buddhist achar layman sounded a traditional brass gong as the procession began to walk the 100 meters to the home of Oknha Leang Phan, Pich Saroeun said. The sound, however, startled a large water buffalo grazing in a field nearby, which broke into a gallop and smashed into the procession.
“It was very terrible as all the guests tried to run away from the vicious buffalo,” he said. The attack was even more a surprise as traffic and commune police had been deployed to the area to ensure security for the high-ranking guests and government officials attending, he said.
Commune police chief Veng Chak said that decisive action was taken: Police chased the runaway buffalo down in a truck and shot it 10 times with an AK-47 assault rifle.
“The buffalo belonged to the slaughterhouse, but the owner left it to eat grass near the bride’s home,” Veng Chak said, adding that police detained 19 other buffaloes from the field. Police are looking for the slaughterhouse owner, he added.
Among the badly injured were Yuth Ponleu, Senate staff member; Chhay Sovan, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-trafficking department; and Leap Dy, the wife of an oknha, who was the most seriously injured with puncture wounds to the right eye, legs and body.