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Member of SRP killed in shooting

Police say attack was not politically motivated.

AUTHORITIES in Kampong Thom province say they are hunting for a man suspected of shooting and killing an opposition party activist.
The victim was identified as Choch Huth, 45, a Sam Rainsy Party member from Chamkar Leu commune, Stoung district, Kampong Thom province.

The victim's son-in-law, 23-year-old Chu Song, said Sunday that his father-in-law was shot to death during a family dinner last Thursday.
Officials say that the shooting was not politically motivated.

"We think that this killing is not related to a political issue," Stoung district deputy police Chief Van Sophan said Sunday. "It's an individual conflict."

He said the suspect accused the victim of being a "sorcerer". Witchcraft-related killings have been occasionally reported in Cambodia and have been condemned by the government.

Van Sophan said police have already identified the suspect but declined to name the alleged killer.

Duk Dot, chief of Kor village in Stoung district, echoed the police message. "Now we are cooperating with local authorities to identify the perpetrator and bring him to trial," he said. "However, the case is not a political act."

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy strongly condemned the shooting, urging swift justice for the perpetrator. He said that previous killings of SRP activists have remained unresolved.

"In many cases, the authorities have never found and brought the perpetrators to trial," the SRP leader said Sunday. "That makes for a code of impunity in this country."

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