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Shooting near office of journalism group probed

An exterior view of the Federation of Cambodia Journalists' office in Phnom Penh, where the shooting spree took place on Friday.
An exterior view of the Federation of Cambodia Journalists' office in Phnom Penh, where the shooting spree took place on Friday. Hong Menea

Shooting near office of journalism group probed

Police in Phnom Penh said yesterday that they are searching for a person who on Friday fired 10 shots into the air near the offices of the Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia, headed by a prominent Interior Ministry official.

Daun Penh Police Chief Huot Chanyaran said the police were investigating the shooting, which also took place near a nightclub. “We don’t know the cause of firing shots in the air,” Chanyaran said.

Chaktomuk Commune Police Chief Chuob Sokun said a licence plate on a car driven by the shooter identified the owner as Touch Bopheap, but when police went to his registered address in Preah Sihanouk province nobody by that name lived at the residence.

“It happened near a nightclub, just a street away from the journalists union,” he added. “We don’t know the cause.”

Huy Vannak, founder and head of the Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia, an undersecretary of state at the Interior Ministry and editor at the Cambodian News Channel, could not be reached.

However, his deputy, Nob Channarin, said he did not think the shooting was linked to the union. “From the information that we got, it was shooting in the air,” he said. “Nothing linked to the federation.”

According to Fresh News, a government-aligned media outlet, Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Choun Sovann said he had received orders to arrest the suspect.

“I received orders from [National Police Chief] General Neth Savoeun to search and ultimately arrest no matter where he goes, no exception,” Sovann was quoted saying.

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