Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 15°C


Ipswich man caught up in Cambodia siege

PUBLISHED: 23:43 17 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

AN IPSWICH man who was working just metres away from the Cambodian school where a boy was killed in an armed siege has spoken of the terrifying experience.

AN IPSWICH man who was working just metres away from the Cambodian school where a boy was killed in an armed siege has spoken of the terrifying experience.

As Cambodian police today began to interrogate four men believed to be behind the terror, Chris Jefferson was beginning to come to terms with the horrific events.

He was fixing computers for a company based on the same road as the Siem Reap International School when the drama unfolded yesterday.

An armed gang stormed the school, taking students from about 15 countries hostage and demanding money, weapons and a vehicle.

About 70 pupils in the kindergarten class – believed to be aged between two and four – were originally captured, along with three teachers.

But after the masked gunman mercilessly executed a three-year-old Canadian boy, police raided the building and rescued the remaining hostages.

Three of the four hostage takers were killed.

Mr Jefferson said: "All through the day, the army were going up and down the road and at about 4pm there was some shots fired.

"When I was at work it was like 'Don't go outside because you're going to get shot'. There were AK47s and M16s all over the place, people driving up and down the road, soldiers everywhere and a big crowd.

"The police got all armed up and got sticks and started beating the crowd back. It was frightening, but living in the Wild West you get used to these types of things.

"We're not sure what actually happened in the end – we think it was a crack squad of Cambodian forces that went in dressed as peasants. It was crazy."

Information minister Khieu Kanharith, quoting the Deputy National Police Chief, Neth Savoeun, said the gunmen had shot the boy when the authorities had declined to meet all of their demands, then "threatened to kill the other children one-by-one".

Hours after the siege began, witnesses heard shots being fired inside the school as the police struck, before children fled into the arms of their panic-stricken parents.

Mr Jefferson, 36, who has lived and worked in Siem Reap for six months, said the dead gunmen had been loaded onto the back of truck and driven away in front of a baying crowd.

He added: "The scene at the school was absolute chaos. Cambodians have a habit of, if there's a car accident or anything like that, people gather around so there were loads of people looking on."


An anti-fraud team for three Suffolk authorities has stopped more than £4.3million of public money being lost to fraud in the last 12 months, latest figures have shown.

Children who live with mental health issues will receive better support at Suffolk’s secondary schools after staff were some of the first in the country to receive new training.

Seven intrepid Suffolk schoolchildren are taking on an epic climbing challenge this weekend to raise money to support teenagers battling cancer.

Budding bakers from Ipswich High School for Girls and Holbrook Academy battled to be named the Peninsula Bake Off Champion at Suffolk Food Hall on Wednesday.

What a phenomenal concert. From the performance, the outfits and the atmosphere, Little Mix at Newmarket Nights on Friday, June 23, were fantastic.

The cult game show was the top UK trend on Twitter on Friday night after getting its official revival. What did you make of the return?

Suffolk suppliers of insulation used in the £8.6million refurbishment of Grenfell Tower say it will no longer be supplied for cladding on high-rise buildings.

A man who returned to his home in Stowmarket last night was pinned to the ground by robbers using cable ties before cash and jewellery were stolen.

A man chased by police through Ipswich was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after he collided with an unmarked police car.

Police are urging those laying tributes at the site in Hadleigh where a Boxford teenager was killed to be careful after safety concerns were raised.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24