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SRP MP's son gunned down

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A woman mourns the death of Yont Thauron, son of SRP lawmaker Yont Tharo, who was shot Sunday after a traffic accident.

Yont Thauron shot and killed following minor traffic altercation near Wat Botum park.

THE son of an opposition parliamentarian was shot dead late Sunday after an unresolved traffic accident near Wat Botum park.

Yont Thauron, the son of Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yont Tharo, was shot after his car was involved in a minor traffic accident while returning from a wedding. Three of Yont Thauron's friends also suffered gunshot wounds and remain in critical condition at Calmette hospital.

"It was a cruel and brutal crime," said Yont Tharo at Kandal province's Wat Samrong Andeth on Monday, where family and friends gathered to mourn the 25-year-old military police officer. "They shouldn't have used guns to attack my son and his friends, who were not armed, over a minor traffic accident that could have been resolved peacefully."

According to the police report, Yont Tharo said, his son's Lexus collided with a number of motorbikes near Wat Botum park, and Daun Penh district police arrived on the scene to mediate the dispute that ensued.

A few minutes after the accident, Yont Thauron was gunned down at a noodle stall across from the park.

He added: "Police told me that they have already identified the perpetrators ... some of whom are also police officials, who used licensed guns to attack my son and his three friends."

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that the "brutal" shooting reflected the decrease in social morality, and that authorities should bring the
perpetrators to justice.

"We are calling for authorities to arrest perpetrators and punish them comprehensively to give justice to victims' families and give trust to all people in the security guaranteed by Cambodian Constitutional law."

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said that police were "burning their hands and legs" to find the perpetrators, which he said have been identified by police.

"As soon as we arrest them, we will send them to court to charge them," he said.

Daun Penh district police chief Yim Socheat could not be reached for comment Monday.

Yont Tharo said that following the traditional funeral at Wat Samrong Andeth, the body was set to be cremated at 6pm Monday.

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