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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Motive still a mystery in grenade detonation

Motive still a mystery in grenade detonation

Two men died instantly when a grenade was detonated in a seeming murder-suicide by a former police officer in Tbong Khmum province yesterday afternoon, though local authorities and villagers remained unsure as to the motive.

Men Sam Ol, Memot commune police chief, said Sam Sarath, 63, and his nephew Khonh Kha, 43, died when Sarath set off the grenade.

“I cannot say it is a suicide. I can just say he detonated the grenade. He was drunk and came to look for his phone. But the other one said he did not know anything about it. Then [Sarath] said [to Kha] ‘If we love each other, may I hug you?’ Then he hugged Kha and detonated the grenade,” said Sam Ol.

“As I remember, he used to be a policeman. But we don’t know exactly where he got the grenade from. They never had a quarrel,” Sam Ol added. He said that Kha’s wife, who was sitting just 5 metres from the explosion, was unharmed.

Long Thavrin, Memot district deputy police chief, confirmed the incident and said villagers were confused as to why it occurred.

“There seems to have been no reason. They were uncle and nephew. They were drinking together in another villager’s house and no quarrel happened. Then Khonh Kha went to his house to eat rice. Then Sam Sarath followed. He carried the bomb and Khonh Kha said, ‘Uncle! Don’t kid’. Then [Sarath] detonated it,” Thavrin said.

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