A Bather preparing to enter the Tonle Sap estuary had a nasty surprise on Monday night when he discovered five artillery shells thought to date back to the 1970s.
Pich Saroeun, chief of Chroy Changvar commune in Russei Keo district, Phnom Penh, said 50-year-old Hab Ly spotted the top of five 105mm shells as he walked down to the peninsula riverside, around one kilometre from the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge.
“We called to a higher level of authority and then Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s officers came to dig in the area and found a total of 15 shells,” said the commune chief. District Police Chief Saom Bunny told The Post yesterday that the shells were old, likely dating from the Lon Nol era of 1970 to 1975.
“We are not sure yet if the shells are still active, but CMAC officers took them out of the area on Monday night,” he said, adding that other such devices had been found in the area before.
A public affairs and communication manager at CMAC, who asked not to be named, said yesterday that the shells were very old and rusty.
Experts from the organisation are due to destroy the shells later this week, she added.