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Couple doused with acid in Phnom Penh after meal out

A search is underway for two attackers who doused a married couple with acid while they were returning home from a meal out in Phnom Penh on Saturday night.

Eang Thea, aged 30, and her 40-year-old husband Soam Sophal were riding a motorbike on Russian Federation Boulevard, in Sen Sok’s district Teuk Thla commune, at around 8:20pm when they were attacked.
Commune Police Chief Pen Thol said they had been followed by two men, also travelling on a motorbike, who threw acid at them from behind.

Eang  Tha received injuries to her face and hands, while her husband’s hands were burned.

Both are being treated at a private health clinic and police believe their injuries could have been worse had they not been taken for treatment quickly after a passer-by came to their aid.

Horng Lairapo, medical and legal manager for the Cambodian Acid Survivors’ Charity, said yesterday that he intended to visit the victims today.

Police have yet to find a motivation for the crime.

“We don’t know the reason why they were doused with acid ... maybe they do not know either,” said Pen Thol.

Am Sam Ath, a senior monitor with the rights group Licadho, said yesterday that people were not afraid of using acid in attacks as there was no law to govern such violence.

A long-awaited acid draft law was submitted to the Council of Minister in late March. Am Sam Ath said human-rights groups have urged it to be approved quickly to help reduce or eliminate such crimes.



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