Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Army officer killed in Battambang

Army officer killed in Battambang

Two men pose for a photo with authorities at a police station in Battambang’s Samlot district after they were detained for killing a military official on Saturday.
Two men pose for a photo with authorities at a police station in Battambang’s Samlot district after they were detained for killing a military official on Saturday. Photo supplied

Army officer killed in Battambang

A senior military officer in Battambang province was slashed and beaten to death by a man and his uncle in Samlot district early on Saturday, after the intoxicated soldier was mistaken for being a thief upon entering the family’s house in the dead of night.

Yem Sophal, 48, was a commander in Battalion 552 of Brigade 52, which is headquartered on the Sangker River, east of Pailin. According to the police report, at about 1am on Saturday morning Sophal, after a long drinking session, stumbled into a house owned by a man named Chhay Bol, 32.

The acting police chief in Samlot district, Men Rin, said that Sophal entered the house holding a stick. As he approached the building his footsteps were overheard by Bol, who called out for the approaching man to identify himself. No reply came.

Bol then called for help from his uncle, Un Thun, 40, and awoke other nearby villagers by shouting “thief”. He picked up a scythe that was lying on the ground and slashed the victim in the neck and legs, causing Sophal to fall to the floor in the dark room.

“This is what the suspect said, and it was too dark inside the house for other witnesses to confirm his account of events,” Rin said.

Ny Chhun Noeun, commander of Battalion 522, said his subordinate had used his last breaths to ask him to look after his children.

“When I arrived, Sophal could barely speak. He told me to look after his children, and he also said that he did not do anything wrong. Why did they beat him? Three minutes later, he fell unconscious,” he said.

Chhun Noeun said Sophal had suffered regular bouts of depression over the past two years after his wife left him and his two young daughters.

The shock of losing his wife had led him to drink alcohol regularly, but he had never caused anyone any trouble, he added.

Mao Chhorn, a Samlot district police officer, said two suspects – Bol and his uncle Thun – were arrested at the scene and would be tried in court.

“The perpetrators admitted to [the crime] . . . We arrested them for their own safety.”

Prosecutor Nuon San could not be reached yesterday.


  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which