A Pech Chreada district police chief in Mondulkiri province, suffered serious injuries after being shot by friendly fire during a drug raid in Bousras commune’s Pol village.
Sou Sovan, the provincial deputy police chief, said six Pech Chreada district police officers, led by Tat Yen, the district police chief, conducted the raid after a tip-off from a local villager.
He said as the officers arrived at a house in Pol village, the suspects tried to escape but realised they were surrounded. A suspect grabbed a homemade shotgun, but several officers drew their weapons in defence, and one of them shot him in the thigh.
During the shootout, one of the officers fired a shot that ricocheted off the house and hit Yen in the right armpit.
National Police and local media had earlier reported that one of the suspects grabbed a gun from an officer and shot the police chief, a claim Sovan said is untrue.
“At that time, our police officers fired in self-defence, not because the suspect tried to grab the handgun from the officer,” Sovan said.
“We fired two shots, one hit the suspect and the other bounced back and hit the police chief,” he said.
Sovan said three suspects managed to escape into a nearby forest while three others, including a woman, were caught and are being questioned.
The Pech Chreada district police’s report on Wednesday said Yen was injured in the right armpit and was rushed to the provincial hospital for treatment. His condition is said to be stable and he is recovering.
It said police have launched an investigation to ascertain the identities of the three suspects who are on the run.
The report said after the arrests, police seized two packets of drugs weighing nearly 30 grams, five motorbikes, five home-made rifles, three Samurai swords, eight packs of gunpowder, a knife and other related materials. The items were all sent to the provincial police station.