Asia

Prominent Cambodian political analyst shot dead

  • In this June 4, 2016, photo,  prominent political analyst Kem Ley smiles as he celebrated the 67th anniversary to commemorate the Kampuchea Krom territory's return to Vietnam by the French government, at Chroy Changvar, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.   National police spokesman Gen. Kirth Chantharith says Kem Lay was shot dead Sunday, July 10, 2016, morning and his attacker arrested shortly after. He says the suspect claimed to have carried out the shooting because Kem Lay allegedly failed to pay him back for a loan. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    In this June 4, 2016, photo, prominent political analyst Kem Ley smiles as he celebrated the 67th anniversary to commemorate the Kampuchea Krom territory's return to Vietnam by the French government, at Chroy Changvar, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. National police spokesman Gen. Kirth Chantharith says Kem Lay was shot dead Sunday, July 10, 2016, morning and his attacker arrested shortly after. He says the suspect claimed to have carried out the shooting because Kem Lay allegedly failed to pay him back for a loan. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • People stand outside a shopping mall where Kem Ley, a prominent political analyst, was shot and killed, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, July 10, 2016.  Police in Cambodia say a dispute over money led to the shooting death of Kem Ly at a shopping mall in the capital Phnom Penh.  (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    People stand outside a shopping mall where Kem Ley, a prominent political analyst, was shot and killed, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, July 10, 2016. Police in Cambodia say a dispute over money led to the shooting death of Kem Ly at a shopping mall in the capital Phnom Penh. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Cambodian woman, foreground, weeps outside a local market where Kem Ley, a political analyst, was killed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 10, 2016. Police in Cambodia say a dispute over money led to the shooting death of a prominent political analyst at the shopping mall in the capital Phnom Penh. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    A Cambodian woman, foreground, weeps outside a local market where Kem Ley, a political analyst, was killed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 10, 2016. Police in Cambodia say a dispute over money led to the shooting death of a prominent political analyst at the shopping mall in the capital Phnom Penh. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

Police in Cambodia say a dispute over money led to the shooting death of a prominent political analyst at a shopping mall in the capital Phnom Penh.

National police spokesman Gen. Kirth Chantharith says Kem Lay was shot dead Sunday morning and his attacker arrested shortly after. He says the suspect claimed to have carried out the shooting because Kem Lay allegedly failed to pay him back for a loan.

The killing comes at a time of political tension that began last year with the pressure on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Kem Lay was often critical of the government in comments made on popular radio stations and in the few independent Cambodian newspapers.