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Murderous rampage

Murderous rampage

Five family members slain, suspect commits suicide

SIX people died and three more were injured yesterday in a murder-suicide that Svay Rieng provincial officials said was one of the deadliest attacks the Kingdom had seen in recent years.

The incident took place in Svay Chrom district’s Svay Chrom commune. Provincial police chief Prach Rim said the victims were all relatives of the alleged murderer, a man identified only as Nang.

The bloodbath apparently broke out after family members prevented the suspect from raping his 16-year-old adopted sister-in-law, he said.

“The attacker had raped her twice before, and this morning at around 10am, he tried to rape her again but was apparently stopped by his family,” Prach Rim said.

“They then fought together, and the attacker locked the doors of the house and stabbed his family members to death before hanging himself.”

Koeut Phally, Svay Rieng provincial coordinator for the local rights group Adhoc, said she arrived at the scene yesterday to find the floor of the home soaked with blood.

“It was a very brutal killing – I don’t know when we’ve had another killing like this in Svay Rieng province,” Koeut Phally said.

The victims were the suspect’s wife, 23-year-old Suk Tepi, and his son, 2-year-old My Long. Also killed were the suspect’s 60-year-old mother-in-law, Chea Sokhum, and his sisters-in-law Suk Chhaya, 27, and Suk Leap, 23. Prach Rim said My Long had been killed when his father threw him against the floor, and that the other four had been stabbed to death.

Three others were injured in the attack: the suspect’s nephew, 12-year-old Suk Phaktra; the suspect’s daughter, 3-year-old My Ly; and 16-year-old Srey Mab, whom he attempted to sexually assault.

Koeut Phally said many details of the killing spree remained unclear.

“We haven’t yet concluded what the real reason was for this massive killing, so we’ve launched our own investigation at the scene,” he said.

Svay Chrom district governor Uy Thorn said local officials had helped to arrange a funeral ceremony at the victims’ home.

“I joined the victims’ funeral today after the brutal killings,” Uy Thorn said. “I cannot explain why this incident happened, because it was an internal conflict in the family.”

Last month, three people were killed and four more were injured after a drunken soldier attempted to stab his wife in a domestic dispute and then rampaged through Kampong Cham province’s Kroch Chhmar district, shooting bystanders apparently at random.

Adhoc president Thun Saray said he worried that some Cambodian communities, particularly in rural areas, did not take the problems of domestic violence and sexual assault seriously.

“It seems that everyone sees this kind of violence as normal,” he said.

“There is no discussion in public about this issue.”

Adhoc recorded 194 rape cases nationwide during the first five months of this year, 70 percent of which involved victims under the age of 18.

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