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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Charge of intimidation baseless, says Defence Ministry

A grey military vessel with a machine gun mounted to the prow is seen moored behind CNRP headquarters in the capital yesterday.
A grey military vessel with a machine gun mounted to the prow is seen moored behind CNRP headquarters in the capital yesterday. Hong Menea

Charge of intimidation baseless, says Defence Ministry

The Ministry of Defence yesterday released a statement blasting the Cambodia National Rescue Party for accusing the military of intimidation by running helicopter, boat and troop “training exercises” in proximity to opposition headquarters.

The statement came, however, as yet another contingent of armed military vessels were dispatched to the waters directly behind CNRP HQ, which abuts the Tonle Bassac river.

“The spokesman would like to reject the accusation from those politicians and strongly condemn any people with the intention to ruin the honour of RCAF, which upholds a neutral stance in protecting sovereignty, territorial integrity and the legitimate government,” the statement reads. The ministry questioned how CNRP politicians could present themselves as protectors of the nation while criticising exercises to strengthen the military.

On Wednesday, several helicopters swooped repeatedly over the CNRP offices. At the same time, boats carrying soldiers moored close to the property, while convoys of masked soldiers armed with assault weapons drove past.

Yesterday, Ly Seiha, one of the supporters at CNRP headquarters, said about 10 military vessels, including two larger patrol boats equipped with mounted machine guns, drove back and forth nearby. “This action is to warn, intimidate and threaten the CNRP,” Seiha said.

When the Post arrived in the early evening, 10 boats were still visible, including two moored close to the CNRP property. They drove away when approached by reporters.

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