A woman was axed to death and her daughter and grandson were seriously injured after an altercation with a neighbour turned violent on Monday night, police said.
The 23-year-old suspected attacker, identified as Tat Seth, remains at large after escaping.
The killing occurred after Pun Mun, 56, got upset with Seth (her neighbour) in Tbong Khmum’s Ponhea Krek district for letting his cows eat sugar cane planted around her property.
“[The suspect] could not control his anger, and took an axe from his house to chop his neighbour,” said Keo Nra Phy, deputy district police chief.
Mun tried to run, but the attacker allegedly struck her head twice, killing her.
“The offender then turned his attention on the woman’s daughter, who had her infant son in her arm,” said James McCabe head of the Child Protection Unit.
Twenty-one-year-old Bun Mom wrapped her arms around her 16-month-old baby to protect him from the blows, McCabe said. The young mother was struck five times and her screams brought other villagers to the scene, scaring off the attacker.
Mom and her unconscious baby were hospitalised on Monday. Yesterday, Mom underwent surgery and remains critical, according to McCabe. The baby has regained consciousness and is recovering.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LAIGNEE BARRON