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‘Chemical’ barrels to be tested

Experts will begin tests today on two barrels discovered in Mondulkiri province earlier this week, which are suspected to contain chemicals used by the US in the 1970s in its war against the Viet Cong, officials said yesterday.

Heng Ratana, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), said a team of experts were expected in O’Raing district’s Andoung Kraloeng village yesterday evening.

“At the moment, I could not confirm what kind of chemicals are inside [the barrels], but by tomorrow, I should have more answers,” Ratana said yesterday.

According to Ratana, based on previous similar cases, the barrels are “likely to contain tear gas”.

Py Tel, Andoung Kraloeng village chief, said that following the discovery earlier this week, CMAC officials cordoned off the area surrounding the barrels and warned villagers to stay away.

One of the villagers, Bil Vanty, said people in the area had been suffering from dizzy spells and headaches.

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