Shoot-Out Leaves One Robber Dead

Three policemen and one security guard were wounded and a robber shot dead in a Monday night shoot-out at Phnom Penh’s Canadia Industrial Park in Choam Chao commune, police and security guards said Tues­day.

According to Suos Tham, chief administrator of the industrial park, three men were inside the gates of the industrial park drinking when one of them began shouting that he had been poisoned.

Responding to the cries for help, the park’s security guards locked the entrance gate and called for police backup and an ambulance for the man claiming to be sick.

But when police arrived and questioned the drunk men, they became suspicious, Chuop Sok Heng, Dangkao district police chief, said on Tuesday.

“The three men were robbers. At first, police did not know they were robbers. Those men were very drunk,” he said.

Chuop Sok Heng said that two of the men told police they had come to the area to bring home the third man, the one who claimed to be poisoned.

One of the drunk men offered to find his friend’s wife and return with her, so the police officers allowed him to go, the chief said.

“But when he came back, he came with two guns, K-59s, and shot at the police and security guards,” Chuop Sok Heng said.

As the officers approached the man to inquire as to where the wife was, the man’s hand went to his waistband and returned with two pistols blazing.

“It was like in the movies. It’s not common for them to shoot two guns,” Chuop Sok Heng said.

Ith Keo, the 40-year-old deputy chief of the Choam Chao post, took several bullets to his stomach and hip.

Fellow officer Touch Ken, 35, was shot in the shoulder and Ou Phirun, 40, was hit in the leg.

An unnamed security guard was also shot in the thigh.

Though officer Touch Ken was injured he pursued the shooter, Mao Svet, 37.

Fortunately for the officers Mao Svet ran out of bullets, and Touch Ken killed him near the roadside.

The other two men, Keo Samnang, 21, and Kim Kheng, 30, were arrested and have confessed to the robbery of two motorbikes in January, Chuop Sok Heng said.

The three policemen and the security guard were taken to the Chan Travuth health clinic, he said.

Suos Tham, the industrial park official, said he had visited the convalescing men Tuesday afternoon. All are doing fine except for Ith Keo, he reported.

“His intestines were severed two or three times. I just visited the injured at 5 pm and found

him very serious,” Suos Tham said.

(Reporting by Phann Ana, Saing Soenthrith and Porter Barron)

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