Security Forces Anticipate Koh Kong Attack

Security officials in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district are on high alert in anticipation of an attack today by the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, said the district police chief and RCAF intelligence chief Mol Roeup.

“I heard the rumor in early August that the CFF will launch an attack this Monday. Police, military police and soldiers are prepared,” Chief Nhem Dara said. “We are concerned about the people’s security because so far there have been many attacks in Koh Kong.”

Nhem Dara declined to comment on the number of security officials deployed in preparation for an attack. He said the CFF’s target was unknown.

Mol Roeup confirmed the pre­parations in Sre Ambel. “I heard this information from the local authorities. I have ordered them to investigate the case,” he said.

Mol Roeup also declined to comment on specific security mea­sures. However, he added: “It is not really serious because the CFF is only a few people.”

The CFF’s California-based leadership has promised the violent overthrow of Prime Minister Hun Sen. It has claimed responsibility for a failed 2000 attack on Phnom Penh that left at least four dead. But the CFF is widely thought to have been infiltrated by government spies years ago, and little about it is known.

In April, B-40 rockets rigged to timed detonators blew up a ferry terminal in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor district. Police detained four suspects in the following weeks. The provincial prosecutor then labeled them CFF. The jailed men told reporters they had never heard of the CFF until they were lined up for mug shots and placards bearing the name were hung around their necks.

Another man wanted for that explosion, which left three people slightly injured, turned himself in about two weeks ago.

Pin Chet, 32, confessed and has been charged with belonging to an illegal armed force and terrorist activity, according to Thong Narong, commander of the Koh Kong Military Police.

A monitor with the rights group Licadho said Pin Chet had confessed and had expected amnesty, having been confused by Hun Sen’s offer of pardon to members of a so-called armed force raised by the Sam Rainsy Party.

Thong Narong, along with de­puty provincial police chief Tuon Pisey, said Sunday they had re­ceived no information about an imminent CFF attack.

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