Five boys were hospitalised after a 60-millimetre shell they had been playing with exploded near the Peam Chaing rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province, on Wednesday.
The five were yesterday recovering at Kuntheabopha hospital in Phnom Penh, where they underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from their bodies.
O’Reang-ou district deputy police chief Keo Sieng Hean said the boys, aged 12 to 14, were the children of residents from village 44 in Preah Theat commune. Four of the five were seriously wounded and one suffered minor injuries. The seriously wounded are Doeun Phana, 12, Sok Kakda, 14, Voeun Phoeuk, 13, and her older brother Voeun Pov, 14. Tho Chhan, 13, was not seriously injured.
The boys, who were walking home after tending to their cattle, picked up the unexploded shell near the road to the rubber plantation and began throwing it around causing it to detonate at 6:15pm on Wednesday, Keo Sieng Hean said.
Police would launch an investigation into the incident. “I suspect that it was someone’s ill will to hide it in order to provoke social insecurity in the area,” he said.