Three soldiers stationed near Preah Vihear temple on the Cambodian-Thai border were injured during a storm on Monday, with two being struck directly by lightning.
More than 10 houses in Choam Ksan district’s Sra Em commune were also damaged or flattened during the storm, according to local authorities.
Peak Chheng, the Sra Em commune police chief, said while there had not been much rain, strong winds battered houses during the storm, which also saw soldier Pen Pichay, 27, have his arm broken by a piece of falling wood.
The two men struck by lightning were identified as Chhorn Phalla, 29, a member of the elite 911 paratrooper unit, and soldier Ly Kimhoeurn, 53.
“The victims are all soldiers, not civilians or temple rangers. No one reported that lightning struck the temple,” Sen Chey village chief Tuon Em said.
While the temple itself was not damaged, more than a dozen solar panels at the site were destroyed by lightning, according to heritage police officer Theam Vuthy.
According to the National Committee for Disaster Management, lightning has killed four people so far this year.