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Politics

Activist's murder stokes political tensions in Cambodia

Mourners pay their respects at Phnom Penh's Wat Chas pagoda, where Kem Ley's body was being kept. (Photo by Sebastian Strangio)

PHNOM PENH Political tensions are intensifying in Cambodia, following the brazen daytime killing of a high-profile activist in the capital.

Kem Ley, a prominent political commentator and grass-roots organizer who had just established a new political party, was shot dead shortly after 8:30 a.m. on July 10 while drinking coffee at a service station at a busy intersection in downtown Phnom Penh. The murder sent shock waves through the nation, which faces local council elections next June and crucial national polls in mid-2018.

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