Demining experts from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) on Monday cleared two Mark 82 (Mk 82) bombs in two separate locations.
In Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district, a villager discovered one bomb buried about 8m below ground, while another was found over 4m beneath the soil in Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdech district, CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said on Tuesday.
“Currently, the bombs have been deactivated and transferred to safer locations. No one was injured. We reminded the local residents to continue collaborating with CMAC by reporting any finding of unexploded ordnances [UXOs] in order to prevent an accident,” he said.
Speaking to The Post on Tuesday, Phnom Sruoch district police chief Kao Bun Thorn said a villager – Uong Sophorn, 38 – located an Mk 82 on Monday when he was excavating the ground, under which the bomb was buried, to restore his pond.
The remnant of war, Bun Thorn noted, weighed 241kg and measured 16cm long and 275mm wide.
“In our district, I have only seen small bombs. Never have I seen such a huge bomb before,” he said, confirming that no casualty was recorded in the wake of the discovery.
He said his force had contacted the CMAC immediately after receiving a report on the UXO’s discovery.
Similarly, the other bomb found in Prey Veng province was located on Monday by a villager during an excavation, Preah Sdech district police chief Suon Thoeun told The Post a day later.
He said the experts had “safely deactivated the bomb” and that “nobody was injured”. “It is common for the villagers to immediately report any UXO discovery to the police,” Thoeun said.
Since 1992, CMAC and a dozen other demining organisations have cleared 1,823sq km of minefields, partly with assistance provided by the international community.
More than 30,000 land mines from 75sq km were cleared in the first 10 months of last year alone, CMAC’s Ratana had said in December.
A CMAC report dated March 15 indicated a significant increase in accidents caused by UXOs. Between January 1 and April 4 this year, landmines had claimed 44 lives in Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri, Battambang and Tbong Khmum provinces, to name a few.