Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear UXO threat marked

Preah Vihear UXO threat marked

Preah Vihear UXO threat marked

Deminers have marked 47 hectares of land in two villages in Preah Vihear province as dangerous areas due to shelling from Thai forces during February clashes along the border.

Heng Ratana, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, said yesterday his staff had marked parts of Chey Sen and Thomarcheat villages in Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district, but lacked the resources to clear the land immediately.

CMAC has destroyed 20 unexploded shells as well as 12 cluster munitions found at the sites, he said. Though both armies used heavy artillery in the fighting, Thailand used cluster bombs – large shells that split open before impact and spread dozens of small bomblets across a wide area.

The Thai military does not consider the weapons used to be cluster bombs, though they appear to have all the tell-tale characteristics.

The controversial weapons have been internationally condemned because they often lie dormant for years, leaving a lasting threat to civilians. Neither Cambodia nor Thailand has signed a treaty banning cluster bombs. CMAC had found no evidence that cluster munitions were used in the fighting that broke out last month, Minh Sron, Oddar Meanchey provincial chief for CMAC, said yesterday.

He did not know how long it would take to clear sites in Oddar Meanchey, but added that there have been no reports of civilians injured by UXOs yet.

Meanwhile, there has also been an “ongoing effort” to clear Cambodian shells on the Thai side, Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THOMAS MILLER

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all