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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Six hauled in over murder allegation

Six hauled in over murder allegation

Six men were arrested and interviewed over the fatal shooting and beating of a 24-year-old man in the capital’s Meanchey district early yesterday, police said.

The men, all security guards from a venue called City Club, had been in a verbal altercation with the victim, Kong Socheat, shortly before he was shot in the head at about 4am, alleged Mao Saveurn, a police official in Stung Meanchey commune.

“After witnesses told the authorities about the suspects, police immediately arrested six security guards from the City Club and sent them to Meanchey district police station for [questioning],” he said.

According to a witness – who described the attack as gang violence – the victim and suspects were chatting and smoking in front of the club when one suspect began mocking Socheat for being a garbage collector.

The witness, whom the Post has chosen not to name, said words were exchanged before a group of men followed Socheat on four motorbikes. They chased him down and beat him, before a white Land Cruiser arrived at the scene and fired two shots at him. One of the bullets, the witness said, hit Socheat in the head, while another flew into a nearby house.

“After seeing the victim fall to the ground, the gang got off their bikes and beat the body, and after that they ran away. A moment later the authorities arrived,” the witness said.

The mother of the victim, Sor Vanny, 44, was in disbelief yesterday as she mourned her son’s death.

“We are a family of poor waste pickers, but we are human. Why they did they chase after, beat and kill my son like that?” she said.

“I want the authorities to search for and arrest the suspects and accomplices and bring them to justice.”

A villager who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the victim himself was a gang member who had encountered problems with other people in the area before.

The guards’ employer could not be reached.

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