Wednesday, 19 January 2011 18:32 Mom Kunthear and Brooke Lewis
Police have arrested two men accused of seriously injuring two women in an acid attack outside a restaurant in Meanchey district at about 9pm on Tuesday, officials said.
Kong Samon, deputy district police chief, said a woman who ordered the attack was also arrested.
The two male suspects, who fled the scene of the crime, were identified by witnesses and arrested about two hours after the incident, Kong Samon said.
“We arrested and sent them to the police station for questioning and maybe we will send them to the municipal court tomorrow evening,” he said today.
He said the two victims were riding a motorbike when they were attacked by the men, who were also on a motorbike.
“The suspects poured acid on the victims because the wife of one suspect argued with one of the victims,” he said, adding that the victims and the wife of one of the suspects worked together at a garment factory.
Kong Samon said the suspects had confessed to the attack, with one explaining that he had been “very angry” with one of the victims.
Chhun Sophea, programme manager at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said the victims, 24-year-old Rin Soklim and 26-year-old Seng Touch, were attacked “over a small rivalry” with the woman who ordered the assault.
She said Seng Touch, who is being treated at Calmette hospital, had received serious injuries in the attack.
“She’s in a very bad state,” Chhun Sophea said. “She received burns to her face and eyes and all over her body.”
She said the other victim received less severe burns to her right arm and leg, but might still require surgery.
She said the attack was the first case of acid violence reported this year.
Last year, she said, CASC recorded a total of 19 new attacks and 36 new burn victims.
An additional 34 victims burned in previous years also reported their cases last year, she added, bringing to 70 the total number of victims recorded by the organisation over the course of 2010.