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UNDP staffer shot during attempted theft

A United Nations staff member was evacuated to Bangkok yesterday after being shot in the leg during an attempted robbery in Phnom Penh this weekend, UN and police officials have confirmed.

“The staff member was taken to a local hospital and transferred to Bangkok for further treatment,” Casey McCarthy, communications officer for the UN resident coordinator’s office, said in an email. “We are following up the incident with government and police officials at this time.”

The incident occurred close to midnight on Saturday in Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Chamkarmon district.

The UN staffer was returning home from a “restaurant/bar” by motorbike taxi and was dropped off close to her home, according to an internal UN staff security update, a copy of which was obtained by The Post yesterday.

“But before she reached the gate to her apartment, she was approached by four unidentified perpetrators on two motorcycles (one was armed with a pistol) [who] tried to grab her bag,” the memo said.

When the robbers were unable to steal her bag, one of them shot her in the leg with a pistol, the update said.

Kol Sophat, Boeung Keng Kang I commune chief, said the UN employee had been shot in the thigh and was sent to Calmette hospital. He noted that the bullet did not appear to have hit the bone.

“I think that this was a kind of pick-pocketing, but it became a shooting,” Kol Sophat said.

The staffer was evacuated to Bangkok yesterday for surgery to remove the bullet.

The “latest report is that the surgery was successful and she is recovering well”, the UN staff memo said.

On January 9, Australian national Eric Liu was shot and killed by two assailants in the lobby of the Reaksmey Thansuo guesthouse in Stung Meanchey commune.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said at the time that the shooting was likely the result of “vindictiveness”, though declined to provide further details. additional reporting by thet sambath

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