>Slain Cambodian journalist’s son dies in hospital

>A picture of Khim Sambor, shot dead on 11th July.


The Earth Times

Phnom Penh – The teenage son of a slain Cambodian opposition party journalist has died in hospital from gunshot wounds, police said Saturday, after he and his father were attacked in an apparent assassination attempt just weeks before national elections. Khim Sambo, 47, a senior scribe for the Khmer-language Moneakseka Khmer daily, was pronounced dead at the scene and his son, Sarin Thida, 19, died later in hospital after Friday evening’s attack.

Police said the pair was returning from exercising at the capital’s busy Olympic Stadium when two men on a motorbike approached and fired five rounds from a K-59 pistol at close range.

Khim Sambo, initially named by police at the scene as Khim Sam Ol, worked for the pro-Sam Rainsy paper for 11 years but his beat remained unclear as Cambodian journalists habitually use pseudonyms.

A board member for the powerful Club of Cambodian Journalists, which has condemned the killings, said Sambo was previously an associate of slain journalists Thun Bun Ly and Nuon Chan.

Both of those men were also working for pro-Sam Rainsy publications when they were shot dead in 1996 and 1994 respectively.

However, despite recent controversy surrounding Sambo’s paper, whose editor Dam Sith was last month charged with defamation against a senior government minister and jailed for a week, police urged caution in attributing political blame for the murders.

Cambodia is scheduled to hold national elections on July 27 and the pre-election period has historically been fraught with violence, but police said it was also a popular time to act on personal disputes in the hope politics would be blamed.

Information Minister and former journalist Khieu Kanharith attended a service for Sambo and his son Saturday morning.

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