Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Breaking: Three missing Cambodian peacekeepers found dead in CAR

Breaking: Three missing Cambodian peacekeepers found dead in CAR

Cambodian peacekeepers at a base in Lebanon pay their respects yesterday to Im Sam, a Cambodian peacekeeper with the mission to Central African Republic who was killed in a guerrilla attack on Monday night. Photo supplied
Cambodian peacekeepers at a base in Lebanon pay their respects yesterday to Im Sam, a Cambodian peacekeeper with the mission to Central African Republic who was killed in a guerrilla attack on Monday night. Photo supplied

Breaking: Three missing Cambodian peacekeepers found dead in CAR

Three Cambodian peacekeepers missing in action have been found dead following a deadly guerrilla ambush in the Central African Republic, officials confirmed this morning.

The bodies of quality control assistant Seang Norin, 35, excavator driver assistant Mom Tola, 31, and medical staffer Mao Eng, 37, were located and handed over after a negotiation between a church group and the Anti-Balaka terrorist group, said Kosal Malinda, spokesperson for Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC).

Their bodies were found two kilometres from the site where their compatriot, Im Sam, was killed in an attack on Monday night. Hun Sen, in a speech at Koh Pich commemorating Veteran's Day, confirmed the news of the deaths.

"We do not surrender to any terrorism and we do not surrender to any attack," Hun Sen said.

He added Cambodia could not step back from peacekeeping operations but would instead commit more troops to war-ravaged countries.

He said the three were likely captured in the ambush and killed later. Their bodies were handed over around 10pm Cambodian time last night – around 4pm in the CAR.

“We are waiting for a casualty report…the bodies will be taken to Bangui [the capital] later today,” Malinda said.

A UN press release confirmed a fourth peacekeeper – believed to be a Moroccan – was still missing in action.

During an exchange of fire near the village of Yogofongo, 20 kilometres from Bangassou, Sam and eight Anti-Balaka elements were killed on Monday night, with a number of people wounded on both sides.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, extended his “deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the victims,” and expressed his “immense gratitude for the work and sacrifices of the peacekeepers in the Central African Republic".

This story is being updated as more information emerges.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,