Three guards were killed and five people wounded when a government air force plane bombed President Lon Nol's residence in Phnom Penh on Monday (November 19th).
Three guards were killed and five people wounded when a government air force plane bombed President Lon Nol's residence in Phnom Penh on Monday (November 19th). The President and his Ministers, although meeting inside, where not hurt.
The plane, a T-28 fighter-bomber, made two passes over the place at about 1000 feet (300 meters) and dropped four bombs. The aircraft then flew northward, in the direction of Communist-held territory. Anti-aircraft guns did not fire on the plane, but some soldiers opened fire with their rifles.
Air Force Lieutenant Pich Lim Khoun was identified as the pilot. Several members of his family were later arrested, according to a government spokesman.
A few minutes after taking off from a military airfield near the capital with three other planes, the lieutenant reported engine trouble and was ordered to drop his bombs in an open area before returning.
The President, who survived a similar attack last March 17th, moved out of the sprawling Chamcar Mon Palace the following day, and into the more compact former royal palace in the centre of Phnom Penh.
Large crowds milled around the palace following the attack. The 59-year-old President later flew off by helicopter to visit the town of Neak Luong, about 38 miles (60 kms.) southeast of the capital.
SYNOPSIS: Security forces surrounded President Len Nel's residence in Phnom Penh on Monday after a government air force 'plane dropped four bombs on the palace. Three guards were killed and five people wounded.
A T-twenty-eight fighter-bomber made two passes over the Palace. Although President Lon No 1 and his Ministers were meeting inside, none of them were hurt. President Lon Nol escaped a similar attack last March.
The first bomb landed in a garden are, demolishing the lower offices under the reception centre, and funnelling the blast around the modern complex, breaking windows and scattering debris over a wide area. Another bomb severely damaged the cinema area, narrowly missing a barracks building located nearby.
The following day, security men sifted through the rubble to determine the exact direction of the blast. The pilot of the 'plane, which flew northward toward Communist-held territory, was identified as Lieutenant Pich Lim Khoun, a Chinese Cambodian.
A government spokesman said the 'plane had made two passes over the place. After taking off from a nearby military airfield with three other 'planes, the pilot reported engine trouble and was ordered to return.
Instead of dropping his bombs in an open area as ordered, Lieutenant Pich attacked the palace. Anti-aircraft guns did not open fire, but some soldiers fired rifles at the attacker.
The fifty-nine-year-old President later moved out of the sprawling Chamcar Mon Palace and into the more compact former royal palace in the centre of Phnom Penh.