Nearly 600 guns – most of them crude homemade rifles – were burned in Battambang province on Monday after a campaign to encourage locals to hand their weapons over to the proper officials.
According to provincial police chief Sor Thet, most of the more than 560 weapons were homemade air rifles, used for hunting small game and crop-destroying pests, though some were also old firearms.
“However, those weapons can be lethal, as are other kinds of weapon left from the war as well,” he said. “In the past, some people were killed and injured by using those homemade rifles; the rifle was just accidentally triggered and killed their relatives.”
After becoming aware of such incidents, he said, the government instituted the “Safe Village-Commune Policy”, which saw authorities attempt to convince locals to hand in all guns, ordnance, mines and homemade weapons to be destroyed.
Of the weapons burned on Monday, about 100 were uncovered in police searches.
Authorities in Kampong Thom province collected more than 300 homemade rifles in a similar initiative there last October.