April 20, 2018 / 7:40 AM / 10 months ago

Cambodian man kills ex-wife then commits suicide live on Facebook

PHNOM PENH, April 20 (Reuters) - A Cambodian man murdered his ex-wife and then jumped off a bridge in a suicide that he broadcast live on Facebook, police said on Friday, in the first such case reported in the country.

Facebook is the social media platform of choice for Cambodians. Nearly a third of the country’s 15.8 million people are Facebook users and the network is a major source of information, particularly for young people.

Ra Chhay Rath, 21, killed his former wife at a school on Thursday then went to the nearby Tsubasa bridge, in Kandal province, and jumped into the Mekong river. Only the suicide was broadcast, police said.

“It has never happened before. It was the first case,” police spokesman Kirth Chantharith told Reuters, referring to the broadcast of the suicide.

“We are investigating to find out why he killed his ex-wife.”

Reuters was able to access videos of the suicide on Friday shared by Facebook users. It was not immediately clear whether anyone had reported the video or asked for it to be taken down.

A spokesman for Facebook in Singapore said the company was not immediately able to comment on the Cambodia case.

Last year, Facebook said it would expand its pattern recognition software after successful tests in the United States to detect users with suicidal intent.

Police said the man’s body had not been found.

Reporting by Chansy Chhorn in PHNOM PENH Additional reporting and writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre in BANGKOK Editing by Robert Birsel

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