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Policeman Killed in Drug-Bust Shootout

One policeman was killed and three injured in a shootout with a drug trafficking suspect in Phnom Penh, officials said Tuesday.

Chhoeung Vireak, 36, was killed and Soeung Yutha, Sreng Bunnareth and Kong Chanthy were injured, police said. A fourth man who worked as part of the police network, Chi Bunleang, was also injured.

Police arrested Keb Samon, 27, a suspected drug trafficker, following the shooting at Ly Meng Thmei guesthouse in the capital, Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naroth said.

“Even though we were able to arrest the perpetrator, we are still very sorry that our colleagues died and were injured,” he said. “This was our carelessness, leading the perpetrator to be able to fight back against our police, and this is our experience for the next time.”

Touch Muy Soir, chief of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Office of Phnom Penh, said the three policemen were seriously injured.

“We confiscated a pistol, some of the drugs and other evidence [from the suspect],” he said.