In a recent three-day operation, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) forces discovered more than 2,000 explosive remnants of war at Queen Kosomak High School in Kratie provincial town.

Senior officials from the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) reiterated the importance of vigilance in the face of such discoveries.

The unexploded ordnance (UXOs) was first uncovered during routine maintenance work, and the authorities were promptly notified.

The provincial information department announced that during the August 11-13 operation, CMAC forces unearthed a total of 2,116 items, including 2,033 rounds of M79 grenade launcher ammunition, along with 63 DK75, 18 M48 and two B40 rockets.

The department added that students were forced to study from home while the site was thoroughly cleared. It is thought that the ammunition was found at the site of a former trench or strongpoint dating back to the civil war.

CMAC forces called on residents to be extremely careful, especially people living close to where the cache was discovered.

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of CMAA, described the discovery as highlighting the ongoing danger represented by the Kingdom’s past history.

“The find shows how necessary the clearance of UXOs from Cambodian territory is, and the value of the government’s goal of doing so,” he said on August 13.

He explained that as such, the CMAA and all other domestic and international demining operators will continue to implement the government’s policies as effectively as possible.

“If we cannot find and destroy all such items, they will remain a danger to our people. Even the oldest explosive remnants pose a serious risk and retain the ability to kill or disable,” he said.

He added that he considered them hidden killers, and added to calls for the public to be wary of such items.

“Every time we clear UXOs or other remnants of war, we are potentially saving many lives,” he said.