A USTRALIAN Iain Howatson was heading home after midnight Saturday Aug 26 from a
party when he reached Independence Monument, rounded the corner where Second
Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence is and, in a nightmarish instant, realized he
was being shot at.
"I didn't know they were shooting at me, I thought
they were shooting at someone else. They just opened up. It wasn't a roadblock.
People opened up on me with AKs.
"I started to make myself as small as I
possibly could. They opened up on me as I was coming toward them. I remember
thinking, 'F**k, I've been shot.'"
Howatson said his motorcycle struck
the speed bumps around the monument, and he bounced his way on to Sihanouk Blvd
toward the Irish Rover bar.
"They were throwing out so much fire... They
shot at me all the way round the roundabout. They kept firing at me all the way
down the end of the street."
Howatson crashed his bike and was knocked
unconscious. By the time he woke up, his wallet was gone.
down to the Irish Rover, bursting in and saying: "Help, I've been shot",
according to witnesses, and was taken to a medical clinic.
shot, but has a deep graze on one side of his forehead he suspects came from a
ricocheted bullet. A trouser leg also bore the tears of a passing bullet, while
one side of his face was badly grazed from falling off the motorcycle.
later found his Rebel bike - rented from the same shop that Bulgarian Mitko
Ivanov had got his Rebel from - had a bullet hole through its front suspension
and another through a fender.
Whether Howatson came under fire before or
after Ivanov remains unproved, though he suspects the two shootings could have
been almost simultaneous. Ivanov believes Howatson was shot at
Howatson, 27, a Land Rover sales manager who arrived in Cambodia
two months ago, has filed a complaint with the Australian Embassy to be
forwarded to the Cambodian government.