Seven CFF Suspects Detained in Koh Kong

Police and military in Koh Kong province have detained seven suspected members of the outlawed Cam­bodian Freedom Fighters who were reportedly shipping weapons into the province for a planned attack, officials said on Tuesday.

Eleven men were initially arrested Wednesday on suspicion of in­volve­ment with the US-based CFF, which captured public attention in November 2000 when dozens of poorly armed men launched a fruitless attack on two government buildings in Phnom Penh. Several rebels were killed and 11 police officers were wounded during the fighting. Hundreds of suspected CFF members were la­ter arrested, and almost 100 were sentenced to hefty prison terms for involvement in the group that has sworn to topple Prime Minis­ter Hun Sen’s government.

“What I have heard from the re­ports of officials, they could be charged with terrorism,” Tep Sokhom, deputy prosecutor of Koh Kong province court, said on Tues­day.

“I heard some of them are former soldiers,” he said. The seven will be charged in court today.

Chhay Sinarith, head of the In­ter­ior Ministry’s intelligence-gath­er­ing Information Department, said Tuesday that people should not fear a CFF attack. “There is no” threat of attack, he said.

A human rights worker in the prov­ince said Tuesday that the seven suspects were detained at RCAF sub-military region headquarters in Koh Kong.

“Officials told me that they planned to carry out an attack against the province on Nov 5 and Nov 6…. They told me that they had confiscated one boat loaded with weapons,” the worker said.

Koh Kong sub-military region Commander Yun Ngim said Tues­day that the seven have been de­tained. He declined to reveal further details about the case.

Last Wednesday, Phnom Penh military police of­ficials said that two suspected CFF members were charged with the killing of Mu­n­icipal Court Judge Sok Seth­a­mo­ny, who was gunned down in April.

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