Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Red train bandit felled by bolt from blue

Red train bandit felled by bolt from blue

Red train bandit felled by bolt from blue

Tea Sarim, the Khmer Rouge commander who led the attack on a train that resulted

in the kidnapping and executions of three western backpackers in July 1994, has died

after being struck by a bolt of lightning, relatives and friends said.

Tet Nuon, a former Khmer Rouge soldier and commune chief in Chamkar Bei, Kampot Province,

said Sarim died in mid-May while visiting a neighbor when the house was hit by lightning.

"He was sitting inside the house when the lightning hit," he said.

Three backpackers, Australian David Wilson, Briton Mark Slater and Frenchman Jean-Michel

Braquet were abducted during the attack in Kampot about 150 kilometers south of Phnom

Penh.

They were shot in the head three months later on the orders of Khmer Rouge leader

Pol Pot following a botched attempt to meet a $50,000 ransom demand.

Two former Khmer Rouge leaders - Sam Bith and Nuon Paet - are currently serving life

sentences for their role in the executions. A third Chhouk Rin, faces jail but is

currently free pending an appeal.

In Chamkar Bei, Nuon said the traditional Khmer home was badly damaged in the lightning

strike and its owners later had it leveled amid fears of bad karma

Nuon also clarified confusion surrounding the death of Vet Vorn, the man ordered

to oversee the executions. He said Bith and Paet had agreed to defect to the government

towards the end of 1996 but Vorn, a strict adherent to the ultra-Maoist ideology

of the Khmer Rouge, had refused. Bith subsequently ordered Paet to kill Vorn.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the