Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen escapes stealthy murder bid

Hun Sen escapes stealthy murder bid

Hun Sen escapes stealthy murder bid

A N alleged assassination attempt on Prime Minister Hun Sen made headlines around

the world, but closer to home - and especially near the site of the attempt - people

only heard about it on radio.

At around 7pm May 27, Hun Sen's convoy was heading from the Second Prime Ministers'

Takhmau residence to Phnom Penh to take Hun Sen to an official dinner with Asian

Development Bank officials.

At a village called Chak Angre Leu, according to Hun Sen aides, at least one shot

was fired at the convoy, hitting bodyguard Seng Son, riding on a motorcycle about

19m behind the Prime Minister's bulletproof car. The bodyguard was mildly wounded.

Near where Hun Sen's Cabinet said the murder bid occurred along Rt 2 from Takhmau,

several locals were at a loss to explain what happened the night.

"The convoy never stopped," said a roadside vender. "I didn't notice

anything. I just heard the next day that an attempt had happened here, so I went

to ask my neighbors what had happened. They asked me the same question."

Of more than 20 people interviewed in the area, no-one knew anything. Some expressed

surprise that the police hadn't been around to ask questions following the attempted

attack on Hun Sen.

The chief of Hun Sen's bodyguards, General Hing Bun Hieng, said it would be difficult

to find the suspect because the attack took place at night.

"We cannot accuse anybody without having the facts. The attackers had no

aim to kill bodyguards, but aimed to kill Hun Sen," he said.

Other members of Hun Sen's Cabinet said they believed the attacker/s used an AK47

with a silencer - which was why no-one heard the bullet - and might have escaped

by swimming the Tonle Basac river.

One military expert said that a silencer reduces the speed of a bullet, adding that

it was "more than stupid" to use one against a fast-traveling car.

Another military observer noted that "an AK47 is the wrong weapon to use

against a bullet-proof car".

A police expert who had followed the case said that the bullet appeared to have

been fired from a far distance, and may have been a stray shot which hit the convoy

by accident.

He added that the convoy, including the bodyguard who was hit by the bullet, did

not stop.

Asked about the incident the following morning, co-Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh

said that he was not informed of it and that Hun Sen did not mention it to him upon

his arrival at the official dinner.

As for Seng Son, the injured bodyguard, he met reporters the next day, wearing

a blood-stained bandage. He declined to take it off to show the extent of his wound,

but showed his helmet with a neat bullet hole through it.

"He wanted to hit Hun Sen but he was traveling too fast," he said.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states