Police in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district have released a man who was temporarily detained after he, along with a group of nine others, was caught brawling with roughly the same number of men from the military’s Airborne Brigade 911 on Friday evening, according to authorities.
Footage and photos from the event depict the suspect with a bloodied face, and indicate the brawlers used pavement tiles, sticks and wooden planks as makeshift weapons.
A Chaom Chao commune police officer, who asked not to be named, said the police had arrested Veng Vin, 26, after his group allegedly used rocks and wooden sticks to attack a cohort of military officials who were walking towards a nightclub.
Three military officials were injured: Phou Sophea, 24, Chhil Nath, 24, and Loek Chhanthal, 20. “They sustained injuries to their heads,” the police officer said.
But Mom Vuthy, Por Sen Chey deputy district police chief, swatted away questions about the seriousness of the fight.
He said only “small violence” occurred on Friday between the “gangsters” and military men, but he did not know what or who triggered the attack.
“We questioned them and they said they were hanging out and there was a small scuffle with each other.
They just asked to reach a compromise and not file a complaint because they did not receive serious injuries,” Vuthy said. “I educated them [and] the victims said they were fine.”
Local news reports suggest Vin paid $2,000 in compensation to the three injured victims, but police did not confirm this.
The 911 Brigade and its members have a chequered history, and the unit was implicated in violent crackdowns against garment workers in 2013.