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Police presence to rise for holiday

NATIONAL Police will increase security around the country during the 15 days of the Pchum Ben festival, National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said Thursday.

Pchum Ben, the festival of the dead, runs Saturday to September 20. During that time, the Kingdom's residents will deliver food to monks at temples, travel to visit other provinces and offer food for the spirits of deceased relatives at funeral stupas.

On Monday, National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun issued a directive to police around the country calling on them to bolster their presence around temples and other areas that will see large gatherings of people during the festival. "This is just our annual reminder to police to operate carefully and responsibly during the festival," Kirt Chantharith said. Security forces at temples must be increased for the holiday, particularly in more remote areas, and large public areas must also be protected, he added.

Nuon Samin, the provincial police chief for Kampong Cham, said Thursday that he had received the directive and was preparing for the ceremony accordingly.

"We are ready to crack down on any crime that might occur during Pchum Ben, and we plan to deploy police from district offices to improve security at temples and other gathering places," he said.

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