A Cambodian military officer identified as Second Lt. Vong Tol killed himself after shooting dead his 16-year-old wife with an AK-47 rifle after he allegedly refused her request for a divorce.
The 32-year old soldier shot his wife, Uy Sokhom, in the chest in their home in the northern province of Preah Vihear on Sunday before shooting himself in the head.
“He was angry with the wife for wanting to divorce him,’’ Capt. Chuon Narong, a district penal police officer, told the Times.
Narong said neighbours had heard the couple arguing earlier Sunday, with Tol reportedly accusing his wife of having an affair, which she denied.
“The neighbours did not intervene because they regularly heard the pair fighting. The couple was married for about a year and did not have children,’’ Narong added.
Tol worked on the provincial military base and his wife was a farmer in the area.
Cambodia’s legal minimum age of marriage is 18 years old; however, children who are no less than 16 may legally marry with permission from a parent or guardian.
According to 2014 figures, the most recent data available from the United Nations’ child rights agency, almost one in five women in Cambodia aged 20 to 24 years old were first married or in a union before age 18.