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Most guards ‘over worst’

Daun Penh security personnel rest at Calmette Hospital
Daun Penh security personnel rest at Calmette Hospital after they were beaten during a protest at Freedom Park on Tuesday. Vireak Mai

Most guards ‘over worst’

A day after the government issued a statement saying that 22 of the Daun Penh district security guards beaten by opposition protesters on Tuesday were in “critical condition”, officials yesterday told the Post that most of them are now well on the way to recovery.

Daun Penh district governor Kouch Chamroeun said that while the “22 are still hospitalised … most of them feel better”.

Explaining why the guards remained in hospital for the third day running, Chamroeun said their “wounds still hurt and they need to be checked more by the doctor”.

Three security guards injured during the violence outside Freedom Park on Tuesday remained in the hospital’s intensive care unit yesterday evening.

“The three with serious injuries have all woken up already but are still in the ICU for monitoring their serious head injuries,” Chamroeun said.

On Wednesday – the same day that the Council of Ministers announced that the 22 guards were in critical condition – a source at Calmette Hospital, who requested anonymity, told the Postthat many had already recovered.

“I saw some of the patients walk around their room and smoke cigarettes outside of the ward … they were talking with their friends as normal people,” he said.

When Post reporters visited the hospital yesterday – as an event for local media was taking place – the 22 guards were bedridden.

“I only got slightly injured, because when [the protesters] attacked, I took a yellow ribbon off of the ground and put it on myself and told them ‘do not beat me, because we are the same group’,” one patient said.

Poststaff were escorted out of the ward by Chamroeun and Daun Penh security guards, while journalists from other media outlets were allowed to stay.

After the media group left, patients were seen again moving around inside the ward.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan yesterday referred questions about the injured guards to municipal authorities.

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