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Huge UXO cache discovered in Preah Vihear

More than 250 unexploded ordnances were discovered on Wednesday in a ditch in Preah Vihear’s Sangkum Thmei district, about 150 metres from Prah Damrey temple, a police official said.

Sangkum Thmei district police chief Choun Mouen said yesterday he had been contacted by villagers who stumbled on the 252 items of ordnance, which included mortar shells, grenades, mines and rockets.

“When I arrived there, I saw many types of UXOs made in the US, Russia, China and Vietnam,” he said, adding that he believed they had been buried in the ditch by antiques looters who had planned to return.

Mouen then called Cambodia Self Help Demining (CSHD), which works in the area, to help remove the UXOs and transport them to a safe area or destroy them.

Tip Cham Rouen, an officer at CSHD, said yesterday that half of the ordnance would be burned at the site because they were so old. Others would be sent to the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation in Kampong Cham to extract the gunpowder for other uses, he added.

“We checked them all and about 50 per cent of the UXOs are in bad quality, so we need to destroy them on site,” he said.

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