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Fugitive fish vendor tried to stab officer on arrest, police say

Fugitive fish vendor tried to stab officer on arrest, police say

Only 10 vendors remain at the fish market behind Olympic Market, which authorities have been trying to clear since February.

ANNOYED OFFICIALS

Ly Pu, chief of Tuol Svay Prey I commune, expressed frustration with the vendors who had yet to relocate. "We tried to educate them because we want them to stop selling there, but there are a few stubborn people," he said. 

POLICE on Monday said that one of 10 holdout vendors at a fish market located behind Olympic Market tried to stab a police officer following an altercation in which they accused the vendors of setting up their stalls illegally and selling drugs.

Some 50 police officers went to the market Monday to arrest the representative, May Kim Seak, on suspicion that she and the other vendors were selling drugs. During the arrest attempt, she tried to stab an officer with a vegetable knife, said Ouch Sokhon, police chief for Chamkarmon district.

May Kim Seak denied the stabbing allegation, saying she was carrying a knife used for cutting vegetables and that she accidentally sliced an officer's pant leg during the confrontation with him.

"When I was carrying a knife, I slid down to touch the police's trouser leg, but they accused me of trying to stab him," he said.

May Kim Seak said she managed to run away from the officers and avoid arrest. Ouch Sokhon said Monday afternoon that police planned to ask the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to issue a warrant for her arrest by the end of the day.  

Ongoing dispute

The altercation on Monday marked a continuation of hostilities between the vendors and police. The vast majority of the 766 vendors who formerly worked at the market have left following an eviction notice issued in February. The notice stated that the vendors had illegally set up stalls in the street and ordered them to relocate in the area from Street 310 to Street 167. 

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