PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A bomb exploded at a Cambodia-Vietnam friendship monument in Phnom Penh on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of a public park where two other devices were found and defused, police said.
The 10-kg bomb detonated around dawn, causing no injuries and little damage to the stone statue erected after Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia and defeat of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.
“This site represents the friendship of Cambodia and Vietnam. This plot was meant to destroy that relationship,” Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naroth told Reuters at the scene.
He said police had no suspects.
The statue, which portrays a Cambodian soldier and a Vietnamese comrade standing protectively over a Cambodian woman and her baby, is in a park near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence.
Hun Sen and other top members of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) were with Vietnam’s army of invasion and were installed and supported as rulers of Cambodia during Vietnam’s decade-long occupation.
In 1998, opposition protesters, who have accused Hun Sen of having too close a relationship with Hanoi, attacked the statue with hammers and set it alight with petrol.
The incident drew a formal protest from Vietnam.