Thirteen Chinese men have been arrested after a massage parlour row escalated into a series of violent brawls in which police had to fire shots into the air to maintain order.
Colonel Bour Sothy, deputy chief of Preah Sihanouk provincial police, said the detained men, who work at a provincial casino, had beaten several masseuses and three police officers.
One masseuse was seriously injured in the incident on Tuesday night.
The violence started at Phnom Khieu (Blue Mountain) massage shop in Preah Sihanouk City.
City police officer Nhim Chantha said six casino workers went to get massages at the shop. During the massages, two of the men got into an argument with a masseuse because they touched her breasts and genitals without payment.
The masseuse shouted loudly and about six other masseuses intervened, before the two parties began fighting.
“While the group of Chinese suspects was attacking the masseuses, police who were deployed nearby stepped in, but the Chinese group attacked the police,” Mr Chantha said.
“They beat the police, though none were injured, and beat the masseuses, causing serious injuries to one.”
Mr Chantha said police arrested the six men.
“While we were driving the six to the provincial police headquarters, another group of Chinese men driving three cars chased after the police cars to rescue their friends,” he said.
“To stop the suspects from being freed, police fired five shots in the air.”
Police then arrested another seven Chinese men, but others are still at large and are being sought.
Six sticks were confiscated from those who were arrested.
The 13 were being detained for questioning at the police headquarters, Col Sothy said.