Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Would-be bombers identified



Would-be bombers identified

Would-be bombers identified

Govt says suspects trying to disrupt January 7 celebrations

POLICE have identified two suspects in connection with Friday's foiled bomb plot that appeared to target the Defence Ministry and a state television station, officials say.

"[The perpetrators] placed these explosive devices to scare people from attending the anniversary of January 7," Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith told reporters Sunday, referring to the upcoming public holiday that celebrates the 1979 victory over the Khmer Rouge by Vietnamese-backed Cambodian forces.

He refused to comment further, saying that he did not want to jeopardise the ongoing investigation.

But Em Sam An, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior and president of the National Secretariat for Anti-Terrorism, said Sunday that police had yet to make any arrests and were continuing to investigate.

"It was not [international] terrorism," he added.

Around 50,000 people are set to participate in the celebrations at Olympic Stadium, he added.  

Three explosive devices were found Friday in front of the Defence Ministry and near the TV3 offices. They were later disassembled and destroyed by mine clearance personnel.

Heng Ratana, deputy director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, told the Post on Sunday that the explosive devices were "improvised mines" - small bombs that had been placed in cans of mosquito repellent and small cooking gas containers.

Heng Ratana said the devices did not cause any significant damage when they were destroyed in controlled explosions since they contained no shrapnel.

But he warned that the bombs could still have wounded anyone passing by.

A similar incident occurred in July 2007 when three fertiliser bombs were found and detonated near the Vietnamese friendship monument in the park opposite Wat Botum.

Vietnam's role in Cambodia during the 1980s remains controversial, and Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Chea Poch said he would not participate in this week's celebration.

"[January 7] was the day that Vietnamese troops came and invaded Cambodia, adding further misery to the Cambodian people."

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there