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Police ‘fired on reporters’

Three Kratie province journalists have alleged military police opened fire on them last week after they photographed luxury timber being transported.

On March 5, Sit Reaksmey, the publisher of Angkor Kampuchea newspaper, deputy news web editor Ly Chamreoun and reporter Kong Dong were traveling to Mondulkiri to report on illegal logging.

As they passed Pi Thnou commune, Snuol district, at 11:45pm, they say they spotted a truck they thought was carrying luxury timber in an area known for illegal logging.

“Just about five minutes after photographing [the truck], a gunman arrived at the scene and shouted. [He] opened fire, shooting a hand-gun at us until he emptied one case of bullets, and then he took another AK-47 and continued shooting at my car,” Reaksmey said.

“One of my colleagues escaped into the jungle, and I escaped with the other by driving [at] high-speed, about 180 kilometres per hour.”

Reaksmey said he didn’t know which company was behind the attack, but he filed a complaint with the Snuol Military Police on March 6.

“After I filed the complaint, a broker came to me to pay $5,000 in exchange for not filing a lawsuit, but I rejected the money,” he said.

Mao Sophon, Snuol district military police deputy commander, confirmed receipt of the complaint.

“We found several empty bullets near the scene and are looking to identify suspects before reporting [the case] to the provincial military headquarters,” he said.

Sok Sovann, president of the Democratic Khmer Journalists Association, said he will forward the complaint to the Ministry of Defence, Military Court and the Anti-Corruption Unit.

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