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Reporter doused with acid in attack

A newspaper reporter who was attacked with acid last week has escaped serious injury, police said yesterday, as officials claimed long-awaited legislation to help regulate the deadly substance was close to being adopted.

Acid was poured over Ly Bunheng, a 31-year-old reporter from the Damneung Chhong Krouy newspaper, during a drive-by motorbike attack at 9.30pm on Thursday night in Phnom Penh, said acting Toul Kork police chief Khun Sambo yesterday.

“The case involved a love triangle because the victim had just broken up with his girlfriend so he could love another girl,” he said.

“The victim’s injuries are not severe because it was only battery acid and it only scarred his back and neck,” he said, adding that the victim has left hospital since the attack.

The victim had made investigations difficult by not cooperating with police, he said.

Contact details could not be found yesterday for Ly Bunheng or Damneung Chhong Krouy newspaper.

Ouk Kimlek, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, who has been tasked with drafting the new acid law, said yesterday the draft legislation would be sent to a plenary session of the Council of Ministers as early as next week.  

“We will have new law, an acid law, to use soon,” he said.

Horng Lairapo, a medical and legal manager for the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said yesterday his organisation had yet to receive information on the reporter’s case. The attack is the fourth reported so far this year, with a total of 10 people injured.

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