Three Vietnamese-Cambodian men were arrested by authorities after allegedly inciting a mob attack that led to the death of a Cambodian man in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district on Sunday night.
Art Orn, Prek Khsay Khor commune police chief, said the attack happened at 9:30pm on Sunday in Neak Leung village. The victim, Seng Rothy, 33, died on his way to the hospital, while his nine-month pregnant wife, Chan Sina, 31, was also injured in the altercation.
Orn said the three ethnically Vietnamese suspects, who all have Cambodian citizenship, were arrested and sent to Peamro district police station for interrogation. The three were identified as Ngueng Yang Noeu, 27, Ngueng Yang Korng, 30, and Lang Yang Serng, 22.
Orn said that the incident was initiated when the suspects asked Rothy for a cigarette, but he refused. A physical altercation then began, eventually leading to Rothy cutting one of the three with a meat cleaver.
In retaliation, about 20 villagers, armed with wooden sticks, machetes and other miscellaneous weapons, stormed Rothy’s house and beat him to death. The mob retreated when the police were called.
“When the mob withdrew, the Cambodian villagers tried to send the victim to the hospital, but he died on the way,” Orn said. Orn added that Sina was transported to Neak Leung Hospital to have her injuries treated and to check the condition of her unborn child.
According to Om Kemsan, Peamro district deputy police chief, the case is still in the investigative stage. He confirmed that during the violent clash, a Vietnamese man, Ngueng Yang Tev, 22, was also badly injured and was sent to a hospital in Vietnam.
“For now, we are still interrogating the suspects to find out who was involved in the violent mob so that we can arrest and bring them to justice,” Kemsan said.
Eang Kimly, Adhoc coordinator in Prey Veng, expressed hope that local authorities would further investigate the case. “They must find the facts,” Kimly said.
“This was an attack where somebody was executed outside of the boundaries of law.”
Mob violence is not uncommon in Cambodia, although all the perpetrators involved in attacks are rarely held responsible.