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Four Prey Veng locals injured in fish fracas

FOUR villagers were seriously injured and one man was arrested following a scuffle between fishermen, police and security guards in Prey Veng province’s Peam Chor on Tuesday night, locals said.

Hun Samet, 34, one of the victim’s of the fracas, said yesterday that the fight ensued after two district police officers and more than “ten Vietnamese” attempted to stop a group of 17 villagers from fishing in a g lot in Koh Roka commune.

“We went to catch fish in the fish lot on Tuesday night, and five children, including a 12-year-old, came along with us as well,” he said.

Hun Samet said two policemen and more than ten Vietnamese who were guarding the fish lot tried to detain the villagers, which triggered a brawl between the two groups. The guards, who were armed with a “gun and big sticks” shot one man twice and injured two young boys.

“They shot at us many times and one of us was hit two times ... and is seriously injured,” said Hun Samet, who also sustained injuries to his head, legs and right hand.

Ly Sophun, a Koh Roka commune councilor, said yesterday that the villagers triggered the fight when they went fishing in a private fishing lot guarded by local police.

“It is a private fishing lot, but the owner hired local police authorities to guard it,” he said. He said he heard that the police detained one of the injured men following the scuffle, but that he had no idea of his whereabouts.

Un Samet, a police officer who villagers claim was involved in the fight, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Prey Veng provincial governor Oung Samy said he was unaware of the case, as he was currently returning from a trip to Vietnam.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH

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