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Workers sought in Kampot attack

KAMPOT provincial police say they are preparing arrest warrants for more than 10 Chinese construction workers suspected of assaulting two Cambodian traffic police following a dispute on Sunday.

Phlang Phearin, the Kampot provincial police chief, said Tuesday that a fight broke out when the two traffic police stopped a truck carrying Chinese workers from the Kamchay hydropower dam in the province’s Teuk Chhou district. After phoning more workers, the police were beaten up and the suspects fled, he said.

“We have identified the suspects and will arrest them soon after we have the documents,” he said, adding police were seeking “more than 10” men.

Phlang Phearin said that in the fight, traffic police officer Chhem Hak, 42, was injured in the hip, and Chamroeut Chhoeun, 43, sustained head injuries and a broken left hand.

He also said a representative of Sinohydro, the Chinese company building the dam, had tried to negotiate with police, but did not comment further.

Shu Jiang, Sinohydro’s deputy managing director, admitted workers from his company had been involved in the incident but said there was probably more to the story.

“My workers attacked the policemen, but there was some reason, I think,” he said. “I don’t know – maybe the police asked for money, and the workers didn’t want to give it.”

Shu Jiang did not know anything about plans to arrest the workers, saying he had already been in touch with police and expected a peaceful resolution to the affair.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEBASTIAN STRANGIO

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