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UN staffer in Mali repatriated following deadly terror attack

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
General Sem Sovanny greets Phin Sarann at the airport in Phnom Penh. Fresh News

A Cambodian United Nations staffer who was injured in a car bomb attack that killed two people in Northern Mali returned to Cambodia on Sunday.

Phin Sarann, who worked as an interpreter with the United Nations Mine Action Service, was one of four Cambodians injured during the deadly attack on November 12.

Major General Phal Samorn, deputy director-general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, said Mr Sarann, who was also a former CMAC staffer, suffered injuries to his ribs and head.

Maj Gen Samorn added that Mr Sarann arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport after he had recovered from his wounds.

“One Cambodian staffer who worked for the UN was returned to Cambodia on Sunday evening after he recovered,” he said.

Maj Gen Samorn said that Mr Sarann was greeted by General Sem Sovanny, director-general of the NCPF, at the airport and was given money.

The other three Cambodians injured in the attack were Hul Sok Heng, Ream Dy and Sam Ratha, former staffers with CMAC and HALO Trust.

Since 2012, Mali has been in turmoil since Tuareg militants, with some linked to terrorist group Al-Qaeda, began occupying its northern territories.

French forces intervened the following year to push the militants back, but the group has since regrouped and launched regular attacks on civilians, government officials and international missions.

Gen Sovanny yesterday said Mr Sarann is now resting at the World Mate Emergency Hospital in the province of Battambang.

“He is much better now. He can walk and he’s eating regularly,” Gen Sovanny said. “He still needs treatment for the injury to his ribs.”

He noted that Mr Sok Heng, Mr Dy and Mr Ratha sustained minor injuries and will resume their work with the UN in Mali.

“The three others suffered minor injuries and they can now go back to work,” Gen Sovanny said.

“On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen asked me to greet Mr Sarann at the airport and give him $1,000 to support his livelihood,” he added.

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