PROVINCIAL police chief Soth Nady has shouldered the
blame for not protecting Second Prime Minister Hun Sen
from a purported assassination attempt.
"I was careless in my competence," Nady told
the Post Sept 28. "We didn't pay attention to the
safety of that place," he said, talking about the
rocket site just a few hundreds meters from the turn-off
into Siem Reap town, on a busy road from both hotels
where all party MPs were staying. The road leads into the
garden area between the Palace and the Grand Hotel.
"We only paid attention to the important
areas," he said.
Ministry of Interior official Khieu Sopheak said the
police were not careless. "For this attempt, even if
[the terrorists] were successful or not, they will always
take this opportunity."
Two notes, written in green marker pen, were found
wrapped inside a black-taped detonation devise, wired
some meters away from the bush where the rockets were
hidden. "The King Bee killers are going to kill all
dictator leaders," read one note. "This is the
end of the dictators," said the other. Nady said the
terrorists thought their attempt succeeded 100%. But
[these notes] are a clue for us to capture them".
Eight men were questioned by police soon after the
incident "but since they were not involved we
released them all," said justice police deputy
chief, Tan Chay.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanarith said neither the CPP
nor the government had accused any opposition leaders
However, Prime Minister-elect Hun Sen said: "I feel
that if Hun Sen was killed, the leaders of the opposition
would be killed soon [too] becasue the experts noted that
the act was carried out by the opposition."
Hun Sen said neither O'Smach nor Khmer Rouge troops could
have made the attempt, although Nady had told the Post
that there had been unsubstantiated rumors that men from
both rebel groups had infiltrated into Siem Reap in weeks
"The network that carried out this activity are
those who carried out [similar ones] during the electoral
campaign," Hun Sen said.
"If, this morning, I died, it [would have] meant
that the Assembly's session would be cancelled and
similtaneous fighting would have happened," Hun Sen
said. He added he would give $200,000 to the terrorists
who laid the bombs, just to find out from them who was
Some witnesses immediately after the event said they saw
four or five vehicles pass in the first convoy, then
suddenly the sound of an explosion.
Witness Sok Khom, 39, said that a handful of policemen
had been deployed "in that place", pointing to
the bush where the rockets had been rigged. She added the
policemen had left the area around dusk, the night before
Mean Sarun, deputy chief of demining group CMAC, in Siem
Reap, said "these bombs were planted last
No witnesses could be found to definitively say which car
was nearest the blast.