Monday, 14 July 2008

Cambodian official attacked with acid
From correspondents in Phnom Penh
July 14, 2008

A SENIOR Cambodian government official has been attacked with acid, as the country gears up for a general election in two weeks.

Ngor Srun, secretary of state for the cabinet's office, was attacked yesterday at a garage in Phnom Penh, where he had taken his Lexus SUV for repairs, reported the Khmer-language Koh Santepheap Daily newspaper.

While he stooped to look at his vehicle's tyres, an assailant dumped acid over his head then fled on a motorbike driven by an accomplice, the newspaper said.

He was rushed to Calmette Hospital to treat acid burns on his face, ear and chest and then flown for treatment in Thailand last night, reported the English-language Cambodia Daily.

Mr Srun is a member of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, which is expected to sweep the country's July 27 election.

Authorities refused to confirm the attack.

Acid attacks, while decreasing in recent years, are still a common form of revenge in Cambodia, often committed by jilted lovers.

Cambodia once suffered widespread violence in the run-up to elections, but in recent years campaigning has run peacefully.

The most dramatic attack in the current campaign was the shooting deaths on Friday of a Cambodian journalist and his son, though witnesses said the conflict appeared to be personal rather than political.

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