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Two die after family taken hostage

A seven-year-old girl and her grandmother were shot dead by gunmen who took their family hostage during a six-hour shoot-out in Kampot province late on Tuesday night.

A trio of gunmen, brandishing AK47 assault riffles, threatened to massacre a total of eight family members held at gun-point during a siege in Dang Tong district’s Damnak Sokram commune, rescued hostage Soa Thoun said yesterday.

“I was shocked when my relatives died. The eight victims are from one family. We are so poor and the gunmen took us hostage,” said the nephew of murdered grandmother Ros Thean. “They threatened that if we didn’t protect them from the police they would shoot all of us dead.”

The gunmen had burst into the family’s home and taken them hostage after police responded to alerts from villagers who spotted the armed trio and suspected they were about to commit a robbery, provincial police chief Phlang Phearin said yesterday.

“They threatened police after they caught the eight villagers. They shot two villagers who died at the scene and two others were seriously injured,” he said.

Chan Na, aged seven, and her grandmother, 74-year-old Ros Thean, died instantly from bullet wounds to their torsos, while eight-year-old Sorn Khemra and 31-year-old Pok Kimsouen were wounded after being shot in the hands, he added.

Two of the suspects used the killings as an opportunity to escape but all three men were eventually apprehended as well as one of their wives, who was being interrogated to obtain further information, he said.

Soung Hong, chief of Dam Sokram commune, said yesterday the community was sad that so many of their neighbours had been killed.



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