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30 people Detained by Kandal Police After Protest

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Kandal: Kandal provincial police are questioning 30 people in connection with Sunday’s clash with police in Kandal Stung district in which 13 police officers were injured. In a statement to the media released on Monday, the Kandal Provincial Administration says a total of 30 people were arrested, including 20 women.

"The Kandal Provincial Administration deeply regrets the extremist actions of a group of people who have committed illegal acts, which could jeopardize public order, security and the destruction of the great interests of the nation." The group was protesting against a section of the development of the new Phnom Penh International Airport. Provincial police chief, Chhoeun Socheth, has told EAC News that police have detained the group for questioning and have not yet confirmed what charges they will face.

According to the Kandal Provincial Administration’s statement, the 30 people arrested were part of a larger group of 100 which had gathered yesterday to “use violence and insults, burning tires and other items, as well as using sticks and throwing rubber bullets at police officers guarding the site of the new Phnom Penh International Airport construction project”. One of the protesters, Tuon Vannak, has told EAC News that the violence was caused by police when they did not allow people to access their land. He says, “The arrest of these citizens is illegal because they were arrested without an arrest warrant."

Some residents are in dispute with the development of the new Phnom Penh International Airport, both in parts of Kandal and Takeo. Developer, the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, says the project has affected 330 families on 498 plots of land, involving over a million square metres. Residents say they will agree to sell their land to the corporation and stop protesting only if they are offered “fair compensation” for their land.

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