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Police accidentally kill bystander

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
The victim was hit as he stood on his balcony overlooking the scene. Supplied

A man was killed by police gunfire in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district yesterday.

Police were cracking down on a cockfighting ring when they fired warning shots in the air, two of which hit Siek Rorn, 33, in the neck. He was standing on his balcony overlooking the scene.

Nop Phany, the victim’s widow, told reporters her husband was a garment worker and did not work on Sundays. He was on the first floor of their rental house when the stray bullets hit him.

Ms Phany said neighbours helped get her husband into an ambulance, but he died on the way to hospital.

“I am heartbroken, we have two children. What will I do without my husband?” Ms Phany said.

District police chief Yim Sarann said his officers were patrolling the area when they found the cockfighting arena.

However, the spectators watching the cockfighting clashed with officers, knocking some to the ground and causing them to lose their weapons.

“At that point, officers fired into the air in self-defence, and unfortunately hit a man who was standing on the balcony of a nearby building,” Mr Sarann said. “They had no intention of hurting him.”

Mr Sarann said he had launched an investigation into the shooting, questioning the officers who fired the shots and examining their guns.

“We are now coordinating with the victim’s family,” Mr Sarann said.

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