Police arrested three Chinese men in Kampot town yesterday in connection with an attack on eight local traffic policemen in Andoung Khmer commune by 15 Chinese workers from the Sinohydro firm, which is working on the Kamchay dam site.
Police believe the arrests of the three men—one of whom they believe was directly involved in the attack on Sunday and two suspected accomplices—could lead to other arrests in the case. “We arrested the three first, then we asked them for more relevant people,” said In Chiva, deputy provincial police chief.
The attack occurred after police stopped a truck carrying the Chinese workers. Mr Chiva said police believe one of the three men they arrested was the truck driver. “We are searching for other assailants through this man,” he said, adding that the alleged attacker and the two accomplices are currently being held in provincial police custody.
Two officers are still hospitalized because of injuries sustained in the attack. Samrith Chhoeun, 43, is in serious condition and could be left blind due to injuries sustained during the altercation, said provincial traffic police chief Tam Orng. He suffered wounds to his right eye, a dislocated jaw and a broken hand.
Chhem Hak, 42, the other hospitalized officer, is in less serious condition despite a broken hip.
Mr Orng said that police are having a difficult time identifying other possible assailants, as their two main witnesses, Mr Chhoeun and Mr Hak, are too injured to assist with the investigation at present.
“Mr Chhoeun could not see and talk and Mr Hak could not walk, so it is hard for us to make them point out the perpetrator,” Mr Orng said.
When contacted yesterday, an assistant in the Chinese-owned Sinohydro office in Phnom Penh said his company did not know about the incident, and a phone number given by the company for their Kampot office redirected back to their Phnom Penh branch.