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Monk slain in pagoda shooting

Monk slain in pagoda shooting

Police in Kampong Cham are searching for a gunman who shot a monk dead on Wednesday in Tbong Khmom district’s Muong Reav commune.

Khmom deputy police chief Long Sarin said a man entered the Samrong Borey pagoda about 6:10pm and shot chief monk Kun Kongkea, 38, once in the neck before fleeing.

“Standing about three metres from the monk, the suspect gunned him down on the floor,” Long Sarin said.

He said a preliminary investigation suggested it was likely a case of revenge rather than a bungled robbery and was not politically motivated, but he would not elaborate further.

Long Sarin said Kun Kongkea had been at the monastery for more than 10 years and had a reputation for being good at performing water blessings and telling fortunes.

Kuy Seng, Muong Reav commune chief, said Kun Kongkea was popular and respected and never argued with anyone.

Earlier in the day, Kun Kongkea had returned from Koh Kong province, where he had been invited to perform a blessing at a housewarming party.

Just a few years ago, another monk was murdered in the same district. A man was later arrested and convicted.

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