A local newspaper reporter awoke yesterday morning to find two unexploded M79 grenade launcher rounds placed just outside his back door in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district.
Though the ordnance was not rigged to explode, and the perpetrators are still unknown, National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said yesterday that he suspected the placement of the grenades and the explosion of a bomb outside the gate of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court early on Wednesday morning were both intended to engender fear in the capital
“Up until now, we have not yet concluded that the planting of these grenades and the bomb explosion [at the court] were acts of terrorism or rancour, but it was aimed to create fear among people in Phnom Penh,” he said.
Tito added that police haven’t identified those responsible, and didn’t know if the same person or persons were responsible for the two incidents.
“Both police and military police forces now are still working very hard in researching and identifying the suspects in this case,” he said. “We expect that we will find their identities and will bring them to justice soon.”
Second Lieutenant Ung Samnang, deputy chief of police in Phsar Depot I commune, said the two M79 rounds were discovered by homeowner Kuon Mao, a photographer and reporter at the intermittently published pro-government Reastre Sachak – or People’s Truth – newspaper.
“They were found by the homeowner while he was opening his back door to go outside at about 7:00 in the morning,” he said, adding that the explosives had been taken away by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, which will examine the rounds.
Mao said the grenades were probably planted while he and his family were asleep.
“I have never had conflict with any people,” he said. “I do not know what the reason is or why they put these grenades in front of my back door like this.”