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Trouble in paradise: Beach area violent, says US Embassy

The US Embassy has warned Americans to stay vigilant and take precautions in Sihanoukville after what it said had been an increase in violent attacks

In a security message released yesterday, the embassy said several US citizens have been attacked and injured in separate recent incidents in the Ochheuteal Beach area, with one person “suffering serious knife wounds”.

“US citizens are advised to avoid the beach bars on Ochheuteal Beach in the evening hours due to the potential for gang activity and an increased prevalence of drugs and unprovoked violence against foreigners,” it said.

But Kol Phally, the Preah Sihanouk deputy police commissioner, said crimes against foreigners remained rare.

Teng Kha, director of the provincial tourism department, said tourist numbers were up 20 per cent in the first half of this year. “If there were lots of crime, then people would not come to visit,” he said.

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