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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The fighting and the fallout: a day-by-day guide

The fighting and the fallout: a day-by-day guide

November 24, 1:30am: A gun battle erupts beside the Phnom Penh railway

station on Pochentong Boulevard. Between 20 to 30 gunmen, alleged to be members

of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF), spray gunfire at the TV3 station, as

well as the Council of Ministers and Ministry of Defense building. The gunmen

also throw a grenade at the Total gas station near the corner of Pochentong and

Monivong Boulevards, and fire on a truck carrying police, wounding six of the


Simultaneously an estimated 10 gunmen attack RCAF's E70 base in

Chom Chao, where they fire five B-40 rockets, causing minor damage and wounding

five RCAF soldiers.

Eight are killed and 14 wounded, some seriously,

during the fighting.

November 25: Phnom Penh police arrest 8

suspects following the attack.

The professed leader of the "CFF" gunmen,

Richard Kiri Kim, a Cambodian-American, is arrested at Siem Reap airport before

boarding a plane for Thailand. According to US Ambassador Kent Wiedemann, Kiri

Kim freely admitted his role in planning the attacks along Pochentong and at E70

to authorities.

In Pursat, three FUNCINPEC-affiliated officers are

arrested and later transferred to Phnom Penh.

Prime Minister Hun Sen

promises amnesty to the rebels involved if they turn themselves in quickly, and

offers a $500 bounty for those who name leaders.

On his first day in

Cambodia, new UN Human Rights envoy Peter Leuprecht urges a Government inquiry

into the violence.

November 26: Sihanoukville police and

Gendarmerie arrest 81 people after setting up checkpoints and swoops on

guesthouses and karaoke bars.

November 27: Arrested rebel leader

Richard Kiri Kim maintains he is unafraid of the consequences of leading the

attack. Former colleagues from Kiri Kim's days as an NGO worker express surprise

at his involvement in the attack, and cite his past support of a CPP candidate

to the National Election Committee.

The Director-General of Police, Hok

Lundy, announces that Kiri Kim will be tried in a civil court on charges of

terrorism and crimes aimed at undermining the Government.

Ten more

suspects are arrested in Sihanoukville, and a further five suspected rebel

leaders are arrested in Phnom Penh.

November 28: Sixty-five

people, most of them squatters living near the railway station, are taken by

police and held overnight for interrogation.

Hun Sen announces the

creation of a commission to investigate possible collusion between Government

officials and security forces with the CFF. The commission plans to extradite

CFF members living overseas to stand trial in Cambodia.

November 29:
Charges of terrorism and membership in an illegal armed force are laid

against 38 alleged CFF members in Phnom Penh. An alleged CFF document lists

former Khmer Rouge commanders Chhouk Rin and Tes Sarin as members of the rebel


November 30: Richard Kiri Kim appears for the second time

at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Investigating judge Ham Mengse says the pre-trial

investigation could take longer than six months due to the large number of


All of those arrested in Sihanoukville are freed without


December 1: A Bangkok-based FBI agent meets Ministry of

Interior officials to discuss the CFF, and promises the FBI will meet directly

with US-based CFF members.

December 4: Six Pailin men, two of them

activists for the Sam Rainsy party, are charged with acts of terrorism and

membership in an illegal armed force, bringing the number of those charged to

46. One of the arrested SRP activists is also a reporter for the Voice of Khmer

Youth newspaper, prompting a statement of protest from the Cambodian Association

of Journalists.

Human rights workers and NGO officials accuse the

Government of creating a climate of fear. Hun Sen dismisses their criticism,

saying he wants human rights workers to stay out of the


December 5: Hun Sen issues a warning to human rights

workers, saying they would be arrested if found sheltering "CFF terrorists".



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