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RCAF soldier accused of shooting neighbours

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Officials investigate a crime scene, where a soldier is accused of 'intentional murder' after he fired at his neighbours - killing one and injuring another. Photo supplied

RCAF soldier accused of shooting neighbours

Kampong Chhnang’s Samaki Meanchey district police yesterday were searching for a soldier who has been accused of “intentional murder” after he became angry with his neighbours and fired at them with an AK-47, killing one and injuring another.

Sok Vina, Sethei commune police chief, identified the suspect as Hem Sothea, 27, who was serving with Intervention Brigade 1 as a health officer’s assistant, and lived in Spean Por village, where the incident took place.

Vina said Sothea’s neighbours were drinking through the early morning hours yesterday when the suspect allegedly came out of his house and told them they were being loud and asked them when they were going to stop drinking. The neighbours allegedly responded that they weren’t disturbing anyone as they weren’t being noisy.

At that point, Sothea allegedly went back into his home and returned with an AK-47 and started shooting. Soam Vanna, 18, who was among those drinking, was killed immediately, and Tol Yan, 45, who came outside after hearing the commotion, was badly injured, Vanna’s uncle told police.

Yan was taken to Preah Ket Mealea Hospital in Phnom Penh, where she underwent surgery. “The female victim had a successful operation during which two bullets were removed from her stomach,” Vina said.

Hospital officials declined to comment on the patient’s condition.

Duong Hong, Samaki Meanchey district police chief, said four AK-47 shell casings were found outside the suspect’s house.

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