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CCTV shooting footage reviewed

Security footage of a shooting outside a shoe factory on Monday that left three protestors in hospital has been reviewed by police, the head of the special economic zone where the incident took place said yesterday.

The three women were shot at a violent protest of about 6,000 people at the Kaoway Sports Ltd factory in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town, which supplies sportswear giant PUMA.

Larry Kao, managing director of the Manhattan SEZ, said security footage of the incident, which he had not seen, had been taken by government officials on Wednesday.

“They reviewed the shooting – the government officials,” he said.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said there was sufficient evidence to convict a suspect, who he did not identify.

Bavet municipal police chief Keo Kong said yesterday that rumours a suspect had been arrested were simply wrong.

The lack of arrest has fuelled speculation, and on Wednesday, Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith told the Post false rumours had circulated that he was the suspect.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua said rumours had become a problem, insisting authorities crosscheck witnesses and release security footage once an arrest was made.

“It’s not an obligation, but in this culture of impunity, I think it is very wise for the government to show this tape for it to be credible, because the public will always have some level of doubt,” she said.

Eyewitness accounts of the incident are inconsistent, but point to a single shooter dressed in a khaki police-style uniform flanked by at least one bodyguard and a police officer.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Centre, said accounts now suggested the gunman stepped out of a Lexus, not a black Toyota Camry.

“Eyewitnesses said that the man got out of a Lexus 470, opened fire and then went away in the Camry,” he said

He said 21-year-old Buot Chinda, who was shot through the chest, remained in stable but serious condition, with internal bleeding between her chest and her bruised lung and a fracture in her left rib.

PUMA is investigating the incident that led to the two-day closure of the SEZ, which is set to reopen today.

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