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Bodyguard Unit shows off hardware, warns against protests

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Hing Bun Heang, chief of Hun Sen's personal bodyguard unit and Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng walk hand-in-hand at the 8th anniversary of the force's formation. Photo supplied

Bodyguard Unit shows off hardware, warns against protests

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit celebrated its 8th anniversary today, with the unit’s leaders praising Hun Sen to a heavily armed audience flanked by tanks, while also warning the opposition not to underestimate it.

Speaking at the unit’s headquarters in Takhmao – adjacent to the premier’s residence – bodyguard chief Hing Bun Heang took the opportunity to directly address the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, a day after the widely condemned arrest of its president, Kem Sokha, over accusations of “treason”.

“During the anniversary we must display our weapon and equipments… and keep security and public order in order to show serious unity,” Bun Heang said.

“This unit has the obligation to protect our nation, homeland, and security for our Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen,” he added, invoking the premier’s full honorific title.

Turning his attention to the opposition, Bun Heang also boasted about how many tanks the unit has.

“You said it wrong, CNRP,” he said, claiming there were 100 tanks, not 50.

In an interview after his speech, Bun Heang said that the unit was prepared to deal with any opposition demonstrations.

“When there is an issue like a protest or strike to demand something that opposes democracy or breaks the law… this force will cooperate with Military Police and National Police to maintain security,” he said.

A spokesperson for the opposition could not be reached.

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