Two men were killed on Monday at a plantation in Veal Veng district when a bomb (UXO) they were pounding on with tools exploded.
The men – Yong Ry, 39, and Nget Tra, 20, – were working in a wooden shed in Anlong Reap commune’s Dey Krahorm village in Pursat province.
Veal Veng district police chief Theang Leng told The Post on Tuesday the victims were farmers. Leng said there were no witnesses, but he concluded the men likely found the bomb and were attempting to recycle the metal.
He said local police have instructed residents to be careful of mines and UXOs, but some residents didn’t pay heed. “We wonder why they still take a bomb and pound on it,” Leng said.
UXO explosions in the district, he said, occurred frequently. A bomb exploded last month injuring a farmer who was hospitalised.
Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana posted on Facebook on Tuesday that since the civil war, nearly four million mines and explosive remnants of war have been cleared and destroyed.
He said some 4,000 to 5,000 people across the country are currently working to neutralise mines and explosive remnants of war.
Ratana said police recently found 18 rifles and four hand grenades in Kampong Chhnang province’s Phlov Touk commune and cleared the now-defunct weapons.
Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) first vice-president Ly Thuch has also called on citizens not to touch or take mines and UXO for recycling. He also advised rice farmers not to plough or clear forest land in off-limits areas. Mines had not still been cleared completely and should be reported if found.
In a February 24 letter to mark the 21st anniversary of National Mine Awareness Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote that mines, cluster bombs and explosive remnant of war have crippled and killed citizens. Mines and bombs are also obstacles to family livelihoods and the national economy.