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Bomb explodes at CPP HQ

A police officer examines the scene after a bomb exploded in front of a Cambodia People’s Party office in Kampong Speu’s Kang Pisey district.
A police officer examines the scene after a bomb exploded in front of a Cambodia People’s Party office in Kampong Speu’s Kang Pisey district. HENG CHIVOAN

Bomb explodes at CPP HQ

A bomb was detonated at the Cambodian People’s Party headquarters in Kampong Speu province’s Kang Pisey district on Wednesday night, damaging a CPP signboard, a wall and some parts of the headquarters itself, but resulting in no injuries, police said.

According to Kang Pisey district police chief Khim Sophanra, few details were available apart from the fact that the bomb went off at about 9:40pm, but Anti-Corruption Unit president Om Yentieng said similarities existed between Wednesday’s bomb and the one detonated behind the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“I think it is local terrorism,” Yentieng said. “Some items of the bomb were similar to what happened at the Phnom Penh court.”

Sophanra, however, said that the origins of the bomb were still being explored.

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre "collected the remaining bomb shrapnel to make conclusions,” he said. “I think it is a timer bomb because we saw some part of the timer at the scene.”

Sophanra said four guards usually watched the building, but had left for dinner at the time of the explosion.

District party president Men Noeun said he usually slept in his office, but on the day in question he, too, was out to dinner at the time of the blast, adding: “I do not know who I suspect.”

Thol Sophy, 33, who lives near the site, said she burst into tears when she heard the explosion.

“I heard a very loud explosion shaking my house, and I assumed my house was exploding, not the headquarters,” she said, adding that she heard a motorbike riding eastbound about 15 minutes before the explosion and thought she had yet again fallen victim to chicken thieves.

“First, I thought I would lose the chickens because the last time I heard a motorbike sound at night I lost my chickens,” she said. “But this time I didn’t lose them, but I was still shocked.”

Am Sam Ath, a senior investigator for rights group Licadho, said he was concerned by the blast, it coming at a time “while the political heat is increasingly boiling”.

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