Around 50 police and soldiers on Monday night surrounded a home in Kampong Cham province where they hoped to arrest suspects in an alleged secessionist movement in the east of the country, following a violent sweep and crackdown of villagers in Kratie province last week.
Authorities say they want to arrest Bun Ratha for participating in an anti-government movement, alongside other suspects in Kratie, where a major clash with villagers in Broma village last week left a 14-year-old girl shot dead by authorities.
Police surrounded the home of Bun Ratha’s sister, Bun Thouen, in Kampong Cham province late Monday and into Tuesday morning, officials and witnesses said.
Bun Thouen told VOA Khmer she denied entry to the security forces, who did not have a warrant at first. On Tuesday, police obtained a warrant and entered the house, but found no one.
Chhay Kimson, chief of Kampong Cham police, said authorities had received information that suspects were hiding in the house after they fled Kratie last week. An hour long search of the home yielded nothing, he said. Police are continuing their search and have arrested at least seven people so far.
Mam Sonando, the owner of Beehive Radio, who is currently in the United States told a Buddhist group in Virginia on Monday he had delayed plans to return to Cambodia on fears he would be arrested.