Cambodian Police Name Mayor as Suspect in Shootings

Posted March 1st, 2012 at 2:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Cambodian authorities have named the mayor of a small border town as the prime suspect in the shooting of three factory workers who were wounded last week as they protested for higher pay and better working conditions.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng confirmed the suspect's identity to reporters Thursday in Phnom Penh.

Witnesses say the suspect stepped out of a car, pulled a handgun from his waist and opened fire on a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters in the central city of Svay Rieng.

Authorities say the three workers at the local sports factory remained hospitalized on Thursday. The plant makes sportswear for the international shoe manufacturer Puma.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told VOA's Khmer service that results of the police investigation have been submitted to court authorities in Svay Rieng.

But police say the court has not yet ordered the arrest of the suspect, identified as Bavet town Mayor Chhouk Bandit.