Security guards at the center of a yearlong land dispute between families in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak community and the Khun Sear Import Export Company on Wednesday accused the families of attacking them during a late-night Khmer New Year drinking party.
Nuon Sokhannara, one of the Khun Sear Company’s six security guards, said that 10 people on five motorbikes had arrived after midnight on Tuesday night and began slinging rocks at the guards.
“Those people got off their motorbikes and attacked us with rocks while we were eating and drinking on a wooden bed on the company’s land at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday,” said Mr. Sokhannara. “Some of us laid down and others ran into the house to escape from the rock-throwing attack.”
He added that he believed that Ly Sreang Kheng, the father of one of the three families in Boeng Kak I commune refusing to cede their land to the Khun Sear Company, had ordered the attack “in order to take revenge for an event earlier this week.”
On Monday, Mr. Sreang Kheng accused employees of the Khun Sear Company of deliberately blasting loud music into their homes under the pretext of holding Khmer New Year parities. Authorities said they were powerless to stop such actions.
Mr. Sreang Kheng on Wednesday denied having ordered a rock-throwing attack and said his family home has frequently been the victim of such attacks.
“My view is that this is a trick of causing problems to attribute to my family in order to bring me to court,” Mr. Sreang Kheng said.
He also said that his family on Tuesday had offered some Khmer New Year cakes to the Khun Sear Company to try to improve relations.
“I tried to make good with those people by offering cakes for them,” he said. “They made good for a moment but then they turned around and acted bad again.”
Boeng Kak I commune police chief Horm Kea said police had yet to properly identify the rock-throwing culprits but had seen Mr. Sreang Kheng’s family flee sheepishly into their home when they arrived on the scene at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
“We found six rocks at the scene,” Mr. Kea said.
pheap@cambodiadaily.com
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