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Hun Sen Opens Counterterror Building

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Cambodia has emerged as a willing partner in the US’s fight against terrorism, having arrested four suspects of the Jemaah Islamiyah network in 2003.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said he was committed to fighting terrorism, with the participation of Cambodian citizens.

“What I insist on is preventing terrorism,” Hun Sen said at the inauguration of a building that will house the government’s counterterrorism agency.

Hun Sen’s son, Hun Maneth, is the head of the Ministry of Defense’s counterterrorism unit.

“Terrorism is the most ferocious [act] we have to fight,” Hun Sen said. “It occurs everywhere, without racial or religious discrimination.”

Cambodia has emerged as a willing partner in the US’s fight against terrorism, having arrested four suspects of the Jemaah Islamiyah network in 2003. Three suspects remain in jail in Cambodia. Cambodia was also used as a haven for the head of Jemaah Islamiyah, Hambali, who was arrested in Thailand in 2003.

“We consider the Cambodian government to be a strong partner in terms of counterterrorism cooperation,” US Embassy spokesman John Johnson said Wednesday.

“We’ve said in the past that Cambodia’s porous borders are a concern, not just in terms of terrorism but also in terms of transnational crimes and narcotics trafficking,” he said. “And we’re therefore engaged with the government at all levels to help improve maritime and land border security, in order to ensure that Cambodia remains a strong and stable partner in the region.”

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