The teenage daughter of a Norodom Ranariddh Party commune election candidate in Pursat province was killed by a grenade Sunday afternoon in what the NRP is calling a politically motivated attack.
The fatal blast came two days after an NRP activist was critically injured and his wife shot dead in Kompong Speu province, police said.
Nhon Rotha, 13, was killed when a grenade detonated on her parents’ bed in their Bakan district home, Romlech commune chief Ouk Muon said.
The victim’s father, Nhanh Nhon, 59, is the NRP’s first candidate for the commune, said NRP spokesman Muth Channtha, claiming the incident represents the second attack on an NRP candidate in the district in a month.
Ouk Muon said there has never been politically motivated violence in his commune before. “Our commune has four major parties—we are good friends,” he said.
Provincial police chief Hem Vuthea said the girl’s death was probably an accident.
“Our investigating police determined that nobody threw the grenade from outside [the house] and the blast was not from a grenade trap,” he said. “We finally concluded that the grenade was detonated by the victim herself.”
On Friday evening, Kong Thy, 40, an NRP activist in Kompong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district, and his family were attacked by gunmen on their way home from a local pagoda, district deputy police chief Sok Khemarin said.
Kong Thy suffered a shattered jaw and his wife was killed by a single shot through the head, Sok Khemarin said. He added that the case was one of revenge by illegal loggers who had been reported to the police by Kong Thy.
Muth Channtha denounced the killings Monday. “This is a series of politically motivated attacks,” he said, adding that the timing of the Pursat blast was particularly suspicious as party activists in the area are being trained as poll watchers.
“[The police] made their conclusions before they investigated,” he added.
(Additional reporting by John Maloy.)