Police in Oddar Meanchey province are hunting for the killers of a reporter and his niece after they were robbed of their car and shot dead near Preah Vihear temple late Wednesday night, officials said.
The bodies of Nhoung Sovann, 44, a reporter covering the Preah Vihear border dispute for Ta Prohm newspaper, and his niece, Seng Preypov, 18, were discovered by villagers in Choam Ksan district’s Kantuot commune, about six km from the temple, according to Rath Sophea, head of the provincial information department.
Deputy district police chief May Thaiya said residents of an informal settlement in the area known as Svay Chrum had been alerted by the sound of gunfire around midnight.
Mr Sophea said the victim’s wife had told police that at about 10 pm her husband had been hired by as many as seven passengers, some in military uniform, to drive 23 km from Kor 1 village at the base of the temple mountain at Sa Em village.
Mr Sophea said that after police learned of the attack, they blocked all roads. However the assailants abandoned their car, fleeing on foot after crashing into a roadblock in Oddar Mean-
chey’s Trapaing Prasat district.
“This morning, our RCAF and Trapaing Prasat police went into the jungle to chase the group of gunmen. At this point they are still at large,” said district Military Police Commander Kong Phally.
Preah Vihear police chief Mao Pov said investigators suspected robbery, rather than a personal dispute.
“The victim’s wife did not know any of the passengers who hired her husband’s car to go to Sa Em village,” he said.