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Officer Arrested for Illegally Firing Weapon Over Campaign Clash

An election campaign rally of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Phnom Penh on the first day of official campaign season, June 27, 2013. (VOA Khmer)
A senior military police officer has been charged for illegally firing his weapon, following a clash with opposition supporters on Friday.

Court officials said Monday accuse Meas Chan Piseth, a colonel with the military police, of firing his weapon into the air during a rally of opposition supporters outside his home, after a rock-throwing exchange between opposition and ruling party supporters.

Supporters for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party say they had stones thrown at them as they passed the home of Meas Chan Piseth around 7 pm Friday night. Some members of the rally then threw stones in return.

Witnesses say the colonel fired into the air, and that three opposition supporters were briefly detained at his home.

Rights workers said they were happy with the arrest, which could help deter further violence as the campaign period continues.