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Opposition gathering to remember 1997 attack

Opposition gathering to remember 1997 attack

The Cambodia National Rescue Party will hold a ceremony today to commemorate the anniversary of a deadly grenade attack on an opposition rally in Phnom Penh 18 years ago.

During the March 30, 1997, attack on demonstrators protesting for better labour rights and wage increases for garment workers, three grenades killed 16 people and wounded hundreds more.

“We must find justice for all the victims and find out who’s behind it,” CNRP lawmaker Ho Vann said yesterday, predicting that about 800 monks and supporters would attend.

No arrests have been made in connection to the attack, which has been widely blamed on supporters of then co-prime minister Hun Sen, who solidified his power in bloody factional fighting months after. The investigation regarding the attack is still technically ongoing.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan, however, said yesterday that the ceremony is a political ploy by the CNRP.

“They are using this case as a propaganda campaign,” Siphan said. “We can’t point fingers because the court does not have proper evidence.”

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