Adam PioreMay 23, 2012 12:47
On the evening of February 12, 1999, a man made his way through the potholed streets near Phnom Penh’s sprawling Russian Market, a ramshackle conglomeration of tin-and-plastic-sheeted stalls, propped by up by flimsy wooden beams and stretching an entire city block. It was the height of the dry season, when the temperature settled just above 80 degrees and stayed there, a nice night to sit in one of the many open-air coffee shops or karaoke bars, order a cold can of Angkor beer for half an American dollar, and croon along with the latest hits from neighboring Thailand. The man approached an establishment popular with Phnom Penh’s Vietnamese population, filled with molded-plastic chairs clustered around cramped tables, and threw a grenade into the café. The explosion that followed sent furniture and people flying through the air.