November 24, 1:30am: A gun battle erupts beside the Phnom Penh railway
station on Pochentong Boulevard. Between 20 to 30 gunmen, alleged to be members
of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF), spray gunfire at the TV3 station, as
well as the Council of Ministers and Ministry of Defense building. The gunmen
also throw a grenade at the Total gas station near the corner of Pochentong and
Monivong Boulevards, and fire on a truck carrying police, wounding six of the
Simultaneously an estimated 10 gunmen attack RCAF's E70 base in
Chom Chao, where they fire five B-40 rockets, causing minor damage and wounding
five RCAF soldiers.
Eight are killed and 14 wounded, some seriously,
during the fighting.
November 25: Phnom Penh police arrest 8
suspects following the attack.
The professed leader of the "CFF" gunmen,
Richard Kiri Kim, a Cambodian-American, is arrested at Siem Reap airport before
boarding a plane for Thailand. According to US Ambassador Kent Wiedemann, Kiri
Kim freely admitted his role in planning the attacks along Pochentong and at E70
In Pursat, three FUNCINPEC-affiliated officers are
arrested and later transferred to Phnom Penh.
Prime Minister Hun Sen
promises amnesty to the rebels involved if they turn themselves in quickly, and
offers a $500 bounty for those who name leaders.
On his first day in
Cambodia, new UN Human Rights envoy Peter Leuprecht urges a Government inquiry
into the violence.
November 26: Sihanoukville police and
Gendarmerie arrest 81 people after setting up checkpoints and swoops on
guesthouses and karaoke bars.
November 27: Arrested rebel leader
Richard Kiri Kim maintains he is unafraid of the consequences of leading the
attack. Former colleagues from Kiri Kim's days as an NGO worker express surprise
at his involvement in the attack, and cite his past support of a CPP candidate
to the National Election Committee.
The Director-General of Police, Hok
Lundy, announces that Kiri Kim will be tried in a civil court on charges of
terrorism and crimes aimed at undermining the Government.
suspects are arrested in Sihanoukville, and a further five suspected rebel
leaders are arrested in Phnom Penh.
November 28: Sixty-five
people, most of them squatters living near the railway station, are taken by
police and held overnight for interrogation.
Hun Sen announces the
creation of a commission to investigate possible collusion between Government
officials and security forces with the CFF. The commission plans to extradite
CFF members living overseas to stand trial in Cambodia.
Charges of terrorism and membership in an illegal armed force are laid
against 38 alleged CFF members in Phnom Penh. An alleged CFF document lists
former Khmer Rouge commanders Chhouk Rin and Tes Sarin as members of the rebel
November 30: Richard Kiri Kim appears for the second time
at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Investigating judge Ham Mengse says the pre-trial
investigation could take longer than six months due to the large number of
All of those arrested in Sihanoukville are freed without
December 1: A Bangkok-based FBI agent meets Ministry of
Interior officials to discuss the CFF, and promises the FBI will meet directly
with US-based CFF members.
December 4: Six Pailin men, two of them
activists for the Sam Rainsy party, are charged with acts of terrorism and
membership in an illegal armed force, bringing the number of those charged to
46. One of the arrested SRP activists is also a reporter for the Voice of Khmer
Youth newspaper, prompting a statement of protest from the Cambodian Association
Human rights workers and NGO officials accuse the
Government of creating a climate of fear. Hun Sen dismisses their criticism,
saying he wants human rights workers to stay out of the
December 5: Hun Sen issues a warning to human rights
workers, saying they would be arrested if found sheltering "CFF terrorists".