Two Children Killed, 10 People Hurt in K Cham Grenade Attack

A former soldier has been ar­rested on suspicion of throwing a hand grenade into a grocery store in Kompong Cham prov­ince on Wednesday night, in an attack that killed two young bro­thers and left 10 other people in­jured, including children, police said yesterday.

A group of children were playing inside and outside the store when the Soviet-made grenade exploded, officials said, adding that a land dispute is believed to have motivated the attack.

Provincial police chief Nuon Sa­min said the two brothers, aged 8 and 11, who were the sons of the owner of the grocery store and at­tached house, died from their in­juries late Wednesday night. The 10 injured adults and children, from Bos Khnor commune in Chamkar Loeu district, are being treated at a hospital, Mr Samin said.

The police chief said the alleged grenade thrower lived in a house about 100 meters from the store and was arrested 20 minutes after the explosion based on reports from four witnesses, including one of the less-seriously wounded.

Provincial penal police chief Sann Sothea identified the alleged suspect as Em Sovan, 40, a former RCAF soldier.

Deputy provincial police chief Chim Senghong said the owners of the store and the suspect had ar­gued with each other in the past about land access.

“The [suspect’s] house is behind the victims’ house by about 100 meters, and they argued with each other previously,” Mr Senghong said.

“Witnesses saw him throw the grenade into the victim’s house,” he added.

Mr Sothea, the penal police chief, said that based on evidence recovered after the grenade at­tack, and on the testimony of four witnesses, the case against the suspect was strong.

“He has not confessed, but we found some evidence and suspect that he is the grenade attacker,” he added.

 

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