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Gangs cross line with dance-partner theft

Gangs cross line with dance-partner theft

Gangs of youths involved in brawls over girls during festivities at two pagodas in Kampong Speu province on Tuesday were released from detention yesterday morning, police said.

Thirty young men were detained on Tuesday afternoon at Odong district police station after allegedly provoking fights over dancing partners during Pchum Ben celebrations at two pagodas in the district, police said.

Officer Keo Saroeun said the youths threatened each other with sticks and pocket knives, but police arrived before they attacked each other. The confrontations caused hundreds of revellers to dash from the pagodas to the safety of rice fields, he said.

Both fights began after the youths attempted to steal female partners from other young men during dances.

At Ang Sandan Pagoda, 12 male teens tried to steal the partners of other young men but were repelled. At Prey Chap pagoda, 18 boys succeeded in stealing the female partners from other young men.

“These kids are troublemakers so we kept them overnight and made them sign contracts promising to shape up and be respectful during festivals,” Keo Saroen said.

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