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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Self-immolation: Kratie man sets himself ablaze, dies

Self-immolation: Kratie man sets himself ablaze, dies

A mine worker in Kratie province’s Sambor district who set himself on fire on Wednesday died yesterday morning in the capital’s Kosomak Hospital.

Nhem Sok, police chief for Sambor district’s Kbal Damrei commune, said Cheam San, a widower from Kampong Speu, drank about half a litre of petrol, poured another litre on his body and set himself on fire near the mine where he worked.

“No one dared to help him when he was on fire for about two minutes. His whole body was charred and burned,” the police chief said.

He noted that Cheam San had worked at the Chinese-run ore mine for only a day and a half and was not known to have any specific problems with anyone.

The reason he set himself on fire is unknown, but several villagers in the area believe a spirit entered his body and forced him to do it.

“The scene was in a forest where villagers believe that a village spirit entered the victim and ordered him to burn himself,” Nhem Sok said.

One of Cheam San’s coworkers, Sum Chanron, said when he asked his colleague why he burned himself on the way to hospital, the victim said he did not know.

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