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Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Year's blast in Cambodia kills 1, injures 25

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — An attacker hurled a hand grenade into a crowd of people dancing at a Buddhist temple to celebrate Cambodia's traditional New Year, killing one villager and wounding 25 others, police said Thursday.

The attack, which killed a 21-year-old man, occurred Wednesday evening about 30 miles north of Siem Reap in western Cambodia, said Ou Em, the provincial police chief.

Many villagers had gathered at the temple for dancing to mark the last day of the traditional New Year holiday, police said.

"First, I thought it was a firecracker that exploded until I saw people with blood on them," said Bou Nimol, a 17-year-old girl who witnessed the attack. "I just ran straight home after that."

Police said they were investigating the attack but had no immediate suspects.

Siem Reap, about 140 miles northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh, is the site of the famed Angkor temples.
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Man guilty of Cambodia coup plot

It is so sad and regret to see the Justice in the United State bear from its role to pro the Mafia government of Cambodia. In stead of helping Chhun as political exile; United State is trying to please those criminal Mafia officials.

A US court has convicted a Cambodian-born man of masterminding a failed coup attempt against the Cambodian government eight years ago.

Chhun Yasith, 52, was found guilty of four charges relating to the failed attack in November 2000.

Dozens of armed men attacked government buildings in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, in a bid to overthrow Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Several people were killed but the prime minister escaped unhurt.

The court in Los Angeles found Chhun guilty of three charges of conspiracy and one of planning a military expedition against a US ally.

"The planning and fundraising happened right here in the United States," prosecutor Lamar Baker told the court earlier this month.

"It was like the labels say, 'Made in the USA'."

But a lawyer for Chhun argued that his client's only goal had been "to bring democracy to his homeland".

"It was misguided and naive in its execution but it was not misguided and naive in its intent," lawyer Richard Callahan said.

Armed attack

Chhun left Cambodia in the early 1980s when the country was in disarray following the Vietnamese invasion that swept the Khmer Rouge regime from power.

He became a US citizen and worked as an accountant in Long Beach, California.

But in the late 1990s, prosecutors said, he founded a group called the Cambodian Freedom Fighters.

The group's aim was to unseat the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who had defected to Vietnam in the late 1970s.

Prosecutors said that the group - controlled by Chhun from a base in Thailand - carried out a series of smaller attacks in the lead-up to the coup attempt.

Then on 24 November 2000, dozens of rebels armed with rockets and grenades attacked government buildings in Phnom Penh.

Several people were killed and more injured.

In the wake of the attack, dozens of people were arrested and jailed. Chhun was tried and convicted in absentia by a Phnom Penh court.

He will be sentenced in Los Angeles on 8 September, where prosecutors say he could face life imprisonment.

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