Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday offered his condolence to Sri Lanka over the deadly terrorists bombings on Sunday and appealed to the armed forces to be vigilant and prevent such attacks in the Kingdom.
Speaking during a graduation ceremony at Koh Pich yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said he strongly condemned the brutal attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, noting that the bombings killed at least 290 and injured 500 people.
However, Mr Hun Sen expressed reservations about whether the Sri Lanka attacks were linked to the shooting attacks on two mosques in New Zealand last month as reported by some media.
“As of now, we cannot determine if there is a link because no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sri Lanka,” he said. “It was a serious attack and we must be aware that there were more than 80 remote bomb detonators recovered by the Sri Lanka authorities.”
Mr Hun Sen noted that the attacks in both countries should serve as a lesson for Cambodia on arms controls and to the armed forces to be on guard at all times.
“This is why I always instruct the armed forces at all levels again and again. It’s important for them to be vigilant; do not let the country become the next target of a terrorist attack or a base for such cruel operations,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday also issued a statement to express the government’s heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Sri Lanka, especially the bereaved families of those who lost their lives in the bombing attacks.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia condemns in the strongest term this senseless and deplorable act of violence. The RGC is firmly committed to the fight against terrorism and extremism in all its forms and manifestations,” the ministry wrote.
“The Royal Government and people of Cambodia stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Sri Lanka at this difficult moment and pray for speedy recovery of the injured victims,” it added.
In a statement dated on Monday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng instructed all provincial police chiefs to take serious action to prevent cross-border crimes and a terrorism attack.
Mr Kheng said the ministry had recently obtained confidential information which pointed to attempts by groups hoping to commit cross border crimes and acts of terrorism.
“In order to strengthen social security, ensure public order, and not to allow opportunity for cross border crimes to destroy the nation, I would like to instruct all provincial police to be attentive at all time and take serious action over suspected incidents that might lead to crimes,” he said.
Mr Kheng said the authorities must conduct regular patrols at international checkpoints, seaports, and border gates in order to monitor the situation and quickly report to the ministry for action.
Major General Ouch Sokhon, Battambang provincial police chief, yesterday said the situation there is under control, noting that Cambodian police have been cooperating with their Thai counterparts to jointly protect the borders and prevent cross border crimes.
“I have deployed officers to patrol the border frequently to ensure that no group enters the province and commits crime,” he said. “We have been working closely with the Thai authorities to combat crimes. So far, everything is under control.”