Seven undetonated explosive devices – three in Kandal, three in Pursat and one in Prey Veng – were discovered yesterday, local authorities confirmed, just days after a Russian-made anti-personnel mine was found less than 100 metres away from a ticket booth at Angkor Wat.
The explosives were found in Kandal’s Kandal Stung district, Prey Veng’s Porieng district and Pursat’s Bakan district.
Tieng Ratana, police chief in Kandal’s Rolaing Ken commune, said residents had informed him of the unexploded shells after they stumbled upon them in a rice field.
“The villagers were clearing rice when they found two 105-millimetre artillery rocket shells, and another 81-millimetre artillery shell about a kilometre away from the other two,” he said.
He added that after fencing off the explosives, he informed provincial authorities and called in the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) to investigate the UXOs and defuse them.
Pen Sarin, a CMAC team leader in Kandal, said he hauled away the shells from the scene to prepare their detonation in another commune.
“I took them to Thmey commune, because Rolaing Ken doesn’t have a suitable place to destroy the rockets,” he said.
In Boeung Khnar commune in Pursat, police officials investigated another three unexploded bombs discovered in a brush area yesterday morning.
Boeung Khnar commune police chief Nhean Saveoun said that local residents informed him of the UXOs, after which he reached out to CMAC.
“Village kids were playing nearby the brush and saw a black plastic bag, and they opened it to find three unexploded bombs,” he said.
Saveoun said someone may have dug the bombs up previously, then abandoned them.
“I don’t think someone was trying to do something bad, because they’re not homemade,” he said. “If they wanted to commit a crime, they wouldn’t keep them out in the open.”
Meanwhile, a report on the National Police website stated yesterday that residents in Porieng district’s Takor commune had discovered a UXO on Wednesday morning.
A recent report issued by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority states casualties from landmines and other UXOs declined by more than a third during the first half of 2015, compared to the same period last year.
“From January to June 2015, there were 66 landmine casualties recorded, a decrease of 35 percent compared with 101 casualties recorded in the same period last year,” the report reads.