Over 270 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) were unearthed yesterday in Battambang province after villagers reported the presence of explosives at their pepper plantation on Sunday.
According to a Facebook post from the head of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), Heng Ratana, experts removed 273 explosives in Samlot district’s Sung commune.
The ordnance was discovered by pepper farmers when they were digging holes to install trellises. Alarmed, they reported the discovery to the police, who contacted CMAC for help, district police official Noun Sokun said.
“The family was making holes and they just found the ordnance. First, they did not know what they were, but when they dug deeper, all of them got scared,” he said.
The ordnance include 112 82mm mortars, 153 60mm mortars, one B-40 rocket, two other 82mm explosive rounds and five grenades, according to a CMAC official who asked to remain anonymous as he was unauthorised to speak to the press.
He added that the ordnance has been impounded by CMAC for inspection and disposal.
In a separate case in Battambang on Saturday, an 11-year-old boy lost his right hand and sustained injuries to his face after he tossed a piece of UXO at a tree.
Sokun said the boy, Mai Samet, had found the 60mm mortar in a paddy field in Kors Kralor district’s Chhnal Mann commune.
Samet was sent to the provincial hospital by CMAC officials in the area, he added.