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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Robbers kill abbot while at prayer

Robbers kill abbot while at prayer

A Buddhist abbot at prayer was shot dead by robbers apparently stealing bronze and silver statues from his pagoda.

Song Sitha, 48, the chief abbot of the Kandol Pagoda in Kratie province’s Lie village, was murdered while reciting his Saturday night prayers, said Chhlong district governor Heng Sopha. Sopha explained that while he did not know how many suspects the police identified, he did know Sitha died from a gunshot to the head.

“I did not know how many times the victim’s head was shot, but the suspect left four shells there,” he explained. Sopha also said that Kandol Pagoda monks told the authorities that bronze and silver Buddha statues had been stolen from their pagoda, though he did not know how many.

When contacted yesterday afternoon, Kratie provincial deputy police chief Prom Korng Sovanney said he was in the process of leading a manhunt for a suspect through a nearby forest.

Korng Sovanney was unable to elaborate on the details of the case, but did say multiple suspects have been identified. “I am in the middle of the forest and I could not tell you what the lost properties are,” he said.

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