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Tuk-tuk driver dies in Sihanoukville crossfire

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A tuk-tuk driver was shot and killed in Sihanoukville’s Commune II on Sunday night. CCTime News

Tuk-tuk driver dies in Sihanoukville crossfire

Preah Sihanouk provincial police officials are searching for a group of suspects who engaged in a gunfight during which a tuk-tuk driver was shot and killed in Sihanoukville’s Commune II on Sunday night.

Police have already arrested two suspects who are being questioned.

Provincial police chief Chuon Narin said on Tuesday that police are searching for security guards at the shop where the incident occurred.

During a skirmish between two groups of security guards, the tuk-tuk driver, 48-year-old Hem Rith, was shot in the chest and died on the spot. Two police officers who responded to the scene suffered injuries.

“I am sorry for not being able to give detailed information because we are still investigating to ascertain the suspects’ identities.

“We cannot reveal all information as the suspects may learn of it. This case was caused by Cambodian security guards. We do not know how they had guns. If we can arrest all of them, we will know the whole story,” Narin said.

The two suspects are being questioned at the provincial police office as police attempt to determine the cause of the incident, he said.

Commune police chief Seng Hort said on Monday that the incident was caused by security guards who worked at a shop.

“Police are investigating, but I don’t know about the progress of the work. I don’t know where they got the guns from. The victim’s body was given to his family to conduct the last rites according to tradition,” he said.

The Post could not trace Rith’s next of kin for further information on Monday.

Citing Rith’s wife, who asked to remain anonymous, local press said he was from Preah Sihanouk province and leaves behind four children.

On the night of the incident, he was waiting for customers as usual. Rith’s wife said she did not know any details about the incident.

Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) president Vorn Pov said that the case showed the weaknesses of authorities in the province and that it had threatened the safety of locals, those working in the informal economy and tourists.

He called on the government to prevent such crimes to ensure the safety of the community and local police officers.

“Police have to arrest suspects to punish them and provide compensation to the victim’s family to support their livelihoods,” he said.

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