The provincial court in Takeo province is questioning four teenagers in relation to the stabbing death of a 16-year old student last week.
Provincial court spokesperson Sin Yeuth said prosecutors were interrogating two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds, but would not say whether they had been charged or what the possible charges could be.
Yath Dara, deputy district police chief in Kiri Vong district, said that commune and district police had worked together to send the suspects to neighboring Traing district authorities, but would not answer more questions about the case.
The teen’s death unfolded on February 3 a little before 4 p.m. on National Road 2 in Traing district’s Prambei Mum commune, according to Kiri Vong district police Facebook post. By February 5, police had arrested one suspect — a 16-year-old living in Traing’s Tralach commune — and later arrested three more teens, ages 17, 17 and 16, respectively.
The three live in Kiri Vong’s Preah Bat Chonchum commune and had been attending the local Sok An Tonleab High School as usual, the Facebook post said. The group of four had been allegedly fighting in a different location before they got on their motorbikes and started riding on National Road 2, when they saw the victim and “hacked” him. The post did not specify a weapon.
The post did not explain whether the teens may have known each other or any other details of the incident.
En Vuth, Preah Bat Chonchum commune police chief, could not be reached for comment. Tep Kan, Preah Bat Chonchum commune chief, declined to speak and said he was busy with a meeting.
Prambei Mum commune police chief Khiev Chrin defended the community where the incident occurred, saying that there are not “bad students” at the local high school and that the death must have been caused by outside students.
Chrin said that he had been to the scene himself after the killing and spoke with police there. The students who allegedly killed the other teenager, he said, had been fighting with another group of teens in Prey Sloek commune before they came across the victim on the highway, who had just come from buying tools for his motorbike.
“They hacked him from behind … the [victim] did not know anything,” he said.
The stabbing victim was slashed deep in the neck with a large knife, according to Chrin; after his death, his motorbike was dragged to the side of the road.
“This is a challenge and concern for authorities, because before there was no such case — but now we have to be concerned because youth hang out and attack and hack each other all over the place,” Chrin added. “And people also worry too, especially passengers who travel along the road.”
Kov Sna, former Preah Bat Chonchum commune chief, said commune guards cooperated with the police patrol every night and observed regular gang and drug activity in the area, including among teens in school, though he did not know the specific teens involved in this case.
“When I was ruling, I could control it. It was quiet. This [gang] just happened recently. They have their group, and when they have revenge with another group, they chase them and hack them.”