Battambang police are investigating the death of a soldier who was shot as he slept in his home in Phnom Proek district on Saturday evening.
The victim, Ly Chhornchhun, 47, was alone when he was shot once, next to his right ear. Earlier on the day of his death, he was measuring a piece of land disputed by the Mean Soun Sambath development company and a group of local villagers, according to district deputy police chief Sareth Viseth.
“I cannot conclude whether Ly Chhornchhun’s death is related to the land dispute,” said Viseth. “There are two possible causes of his death: the land dispute and his own internal family disputes.”
Viseth said that the deceased soldier was known to argue with his wife but added that police don’t know the true nature of the family dispute. Chhornchhun’s wife was out selling food at a pagoda during the murder.
Uy Phally, a representative of villagers in the dispute with Soun Mean Sambath, said that Chhornchhun measured the disputed land “without having a problem with the company”, and described the victim as a “gentle person”.
But Chhan Mony, a friend of Chhornchhun, said that the soldier was involved with the land dispute and that he suspected the company’s hand in the murder.
Viseth, the police chief, said that it was still premature to lay the murder at the company’s feet, and company representatives could not be reached.