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Villager detained over mine disposal

A villager from Banteay Meanchey province was charged yesterday with placing ammunition in a public place, following suspicions that he was plotting a bomb attack against Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The suspect, 42-year-old Kim Sath, discarded an anti-personnel mine unearthed by his wife on Sunday. Police arrested him later the same day, alleging he had placed the explosive close to a groundbreaking ceremony Hun Sen attended on Tuesday.

Long Cheab, deputy provincial prosecutor, rescinded prior suspicions about the case.

“I did not charge him of any attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Hun Sen,” he said.

Ung Oeun, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said yesterday that he didn’t believe the suspect had any intention of targeting the Prime Minister.

“I don’t think he had any purpose to cause an explosion on Hun Sen’s trip,” said Ung Oeun. “He has no knowledge and he just threw [the mine] away.” The suspect’s wife, Chan Thorn, said on Tuesday that she had filed a request with rights groups Adhoc and Lichado to intervene on her husband’s behalf.

Kim Sath is being detained in Banteay Meanchey as investigations continue.

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