Robbers Shoot Up Market

Three armed robbers held up a jewelry stall at a market in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district on Wednesday afternoon, shooting and seriously injuring three goldsmiths who tried to intervene, officials and a vendor said Thursday.

Vong Pheak, chief of Anlong Veng commune, said three men entered Anlong Veng’s main market at about 4:40 p.m. with two AK-47 assault rifles and a handgun concealed in a bag, then made their way to the jewelry section.

“They put their guns in a bag full of straw to hide them from people in the market and started the operation once they arrived at the jewelry stalls,” Mr. Pheak said. “When people began to challenge them, the gunmen opened fire and seriously injured three men.”

The bandits made away with about 70 damlung of platinum from one vendor before fleeing on motorbikes driven by three accomplices, he added.

Three goldsmiths working near the jewelry shops — Lan Kimchheang, 36, Hak Hy, 36, and Ros Sophea, also 36, – were shot by the robbers and rushed to the Siem Reap provincial hospital for surgery, according to Mr. Pheak. All three were still at the hospital Thursday, he said.

Lim Vanna, who runs the jewelry stall that was robbed, said he had lost $30,000 worth of platinum.

“They pointed a gun at my wife’s head and said they would shoot anyone who dared to step in,” he said.

Commune police chief Vong Tann said 30 of his officers were searching for the robbers in a forest about 10 kilometers from the market.

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