Two Foreigners Attacked on Koh Rong

A British national and a Finnish national were checked into Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh on Friday after being attacked with knives and batons on Koh Rong island off the coast of Siha­nouk­ville late Thursday night, according to police.

British national Michael Hay, 27, is in a serious but stable condition with a fractured cheekbone and an 11-cm gash to his head, according to a doctor’s report. No doctor’s assessment was available for the Finnish man, Jooni Huhani Nleml, 40, but he was responsive with no sign of serious head injuries in his hospital bed on Friday evening. 

According to Sihanoukville police chief Phul Phorsda, the two victims were working at Long Beach Bungalow on Koh Rong—about 20 km off the coast—when their assailants attacked them at around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.

“Both victims were attacked with knives to the head and face and were injured seriously,” Mr. Phorsda said, adding that about $3,000, a mobile phone, a laptop and a camera were taken from the pair.

“There were two or three perpetrators,” Mr. Phorsda said, adding that police found knives, batons and rocks at the scene that were used as weapons.

Provincial police chief Seang Kosal said that Mr. Nleml was the owner of the establishment where the two men were attacked and that Mr. Hay worked there as a cashier.

Mr. Kosal said that he “could not share details about the suspects because police are still investigating the case.”

On Friday evening, the pair was being interviewed by police in their hospital beds. Mr. Hay’s head was bandaged, his face severely swollen and bruised.

The attack on the resort island came the same day that Interior Minister Sar Kheng sent a team of high-level police to Siha­nouk­ville to probe a spate of recent violence among foreigners—including explosions, stabbings, brawls and a drive-by shooting.

The police mission includes Nov Leakhena, deputy director-general of the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, Dy Vi­chea, chief of the ministry’s central security department, and members of the anti-terrorism department, according to the ministry.

Neither Lieutenant General Leakhena nor Lieutenant General Vichea could be reached Friday.

When asked how long the delegation from Phnom Penh would remain in the restive seaside city, Mr. Kosal, the provincial police chief, said: “they will stay until the job is finished,” and hung up his phone.

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