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Kingdom of Cambodia: Grenade attack on peaceful demonstration

, N° d'index: ASA 23/005/1997

On 30 March 1997 as many as 19 people were killed and more than 100 injured when unidentified attackers threw grenades into a crowd of Khmer Nation Party (KNP) activists during a peaceful demonstration. The target of the attack was Sam Rainsy, leader of the KNP, who escaped injury because one of his bodyguards pushed him down and fatally took the force of the blast himself. This incident appears to be part of a pattern of increasing political tension and violence, and there is concern that despite condemnations of this attack by politicians from both major parties, the perpetrators of previous attacks have never been identified and prosecuted. There are further concerns about the role of the security forces in policing the demonstration and their failure to either apprehend the attackers or give assistance to those injured.

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