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Bodyguard Unit handed fresh troops

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Members of the elite Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit march in a parade celebrating the group’s anniversary last September in Takhmao. Hong Menea

Bodyguard Unit handed fresh troops

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal Bodyguard Unit will get an injection of 76 new troops, according to a document signed by the premier.

The decision, in response to a request by the Defence Ministry, was approved August 1.

“The government has decided to allow . . . the recruiting of 76 under the Bodyguard Unit for replacing troops who had died on duty or have become disabled,” the notice states.

“The ministers in charge of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the commander of RCAF must implement this decision from the signing date.”

Neither the spokesman for the Ministry of Defence nor the head of the Bodyguard Unit, Hing Bun Heang, could be reached for comment.

Since splitting off from Brigade 70 in 2009, the premier’s Bodyguard Unit has grown into a highly trained and well-equipped force estimated to number in the thousands.

It has been implicated in human rights abuses including the 2015 attack on two opposition lawmakers outside parliament. Three members were convicted of the assault, only to be given promotions upon release.

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