Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No clues following bomb find

No clues following bomb find

No clues following bomb find

POLICE and military authorities are concerned by the size and sophistication of a

bomb discovered on March 5 near Wat Phnom.

The bomb (above) was loaded into a sugar cane cart and contained three B-40 rockets,

TNT, detonators and a timer, however it had not been connected.

Head of the Khan Daun Penh police, Pol Phithey, said it was the first time he has

seen such a complex and professionally made bomb. "I have been a policeman for

nearly 20 years and I have never seen a bomb like this."

Deputy commander of Phnom Penh military police, Um Many, was also surprised: "This

is modern technology so we called CMAC and they said this is professionally built."

CMAC experts discovered that the bomb was not ready to explode and they managed to

render it safe reasonably swiftly.

"Fortunately, the detonators had not been placed in the bombs; that's why it

was easy for us to dismantle," Chief of Staff of Cambodian Mine Center [CMAC],

Phan Sothy, said.

Say Thoun, a senior crime investigator with the Daun Penh district police, said two

men on a moto gave two shoe-shine boys 3000 riel to push the cart from near the riverside

Kirirom Restaurant to Wat Phnom.

Police said they had heard two different versions of how the bomb was discovered.

One had it that the boys were pushing the cart when a man on a moto told them there

was a bomb in it, so they went and told a guard at the park next to Wat Phnom. He

called the police who notified CMAC. The second was that a piece of wood fell off

the cart, the boys saw the bomb and told passers-by.

Say Thoun said the boys were young and very frightened by the experience so it was

not surprising there has been some confusion.

"It is difficult to talk to these boys about what happened and it is hard to

believe them; sometimes they said it was like this, sometimes they said it was like

that," he said.

Col Phithey said he wanted it made clear that the bomb was not picked up from near

the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters as several Khmer papers had reported him saying.

CMAC staff said if the bomb had been properly armed it was likely it would have exploded

as it was pushed along in the cart.

Sothy was also surprised at the way the bomb was put together.

"The three B-40 rocket shells were very professionally organized in the sugar

cane cart," he said. "It was set up by a person who has been trained in

such skills at an army school.

"An amateur could not organize a bomb like that," he said.

Sothy said he understood from the police that the bomb was going to be detonated

as crowds of people assembled to hear the lottery results near Wat Phnom.

Both Thoun and Many put the bomb down to "anarchic forces". But neither

could say who they thought it might be.

Top Chang, chief police commissioner of Phnom Penh, said that police had stepped

up security in the wake of the bomb attempt.

"Anarchic people have never given up their bid to destroy the government.

"Their tactic is to try and frighten the people. That is their purpose, but

the police are protecting the security situation very well.

"We have decided to protect our people, and the foreigners, so we are still

investigating this case as this bomb came from a terrorist group.

We cannot say which group but these people are very dangerous," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided