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Soldier jailed for alleged shooting of 12-year-old

An official from the army’s notorious Brigade 70 unit was arrested in Phnom Penh on Saturday night for allegedly shooting a 12-year-old boy in the leg.

Colonel Yim Sarann, chief of Por Sen Chey district police, said 45-year-old military officer Major Pol Ponleu was arrested at about 8:30pm on Saturday on suspicion of accidentally seriously injuring the 12-year-old.

“He was very drunk. He pulled the pistol from his waist, shooting one bullet into the ground . . . But unluckily, the bullet flew to hit a boy’s right leg, causing him to be seriously wounded,” he said.

“After the shooting, he was immediately arrested by our local police forces and the boy was also rescued and sent to the district health centre for treatment,” he added.

Ponleu remained detained yesterday at Por Sen Chey district police station, where he was being questioned.

“He has been preliminarily accused by our police of two offences: illegal weapons use and causing injury,” Sarann said, adding that Ponleu would be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today for further questioning.

If found guilty, Ponleu could face a prison sentence of between one and two years, Sarann said.

Brigade 70, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, has faced a raft of allegations since its inception ranging from protecting illegal timber traders to murder.



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