Robbery Suspects Lynched in Police Custody

A mob killed two suspected robbers in Takeo pro­vince’s Bati district on Saturday as police attempted to escort the sus­pects to a weapons cache, po­lice said.

Sok Srun, 32, and Bor Ol, 40, were hacked and beaten to death by a mob of about 600 villagers armed with axes, machetes and sticks, who overpowered the six po­lice officers transporting the sus­pects, said Sao Chhoeun, depu­ty penal police chief of Bati dis­trict.

The two men were arrested on Oct 7 in Battambang province and ac­cused of robbing a family in Bati district’s Lom Pong commune the night of Sept 29, Takeo provincial police Chief Vuth Phally said.

The men reportedly shot into the family’s stilted house and threatened to kill the homeowners if they did not throw money down, Vuth Phally said. The vic­tims were not hurt, but the suspects took about $750, he added.

On Saturday, the suspects led po­lice to a weapons cache in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district and found two AK-47s and a K-54 handgun, Sao Chhoeun said.

They were leading police to a second hiding spot in Bati’s Lom Pong commune, where they confessed to have stashed an AK-47 and a grenade, when villagers seeking revenge ambushed the police’s truck, Sao Chhoeun said.

The men were killed within minutes and two policemen were slightly injured attempting to fight off the mob, he said. “The villagers were so angry at them,” he said. “We are sorry we can’t stop them.”

The suspects are believed to have terrorized the commune on many occasions in re­cent months. Sao Chhoeun said Sok Srun had been arrested six times for armed rob­bery in the past.

Police said two other suspects in the Sept 29 robbery are still at large. Police have no plans to ar­rest villagers for the mob attack, Sao Chhoeun said.



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