The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said.
National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to the preliminary report he has receiced, village residents reported a gunfight taking place between two groups of Thais – which was then met with an armed response by the provincial Military Police.
Hy said two groups of Thais were drinking alcohol outside of a store in town. They got into a dispute and the two sides were throwing wine bottles at each other at first, but then a gun fight erupted between them, taking onlookers by surprise.
The Military Police then rallied and intervened to break up the gun battle and bring the chaotic and dangerous situation under control, which resulted in three of their officers being shot, said Hy.
“I saw the information posted on Facebook and to some local websites that three of our officers were injured. One of the three was seriously injured by a bullet passing through both of his cheeks. That officer was sent to the provincial hospital for treatment. But I do not know the officers’ names yet because the provincial Military Police have yet to provide any details,” he said.
Poipet district governor Keat Hul told The Post that authorities were continuing to search for additional suspects for questioning and possible arrest. However, he did not know what caused the initial violence or the ensuing armed clashes with officers.
“According to a preliminary report concerning the incident, three officers were injured and a group of 15 suspects were arrested and sent to the Poipet town Military Police command headquarters for questioning. But so far I have not yet received a written report from the Military Police forces,” he said.
Hul said the violence was the work of troublemakers and it could seriously affect the social and economic stability of Poipet town. He said area forces would take strict action against those responsible without allowing any of them to escape.
Poipet town Military Police commander Nuon Ninaro and provincial military police commander Born Bin could not be reached for comment on November 21.