Authorities have recovered some 38 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the site of a former government military base in Battambang province, police said yesterday.
Five of the Russian-made UXO were detected in Bakprea village, in Prey Chas commune, on February 24, according to Ek Phnom district police chief Long Yutheavireak.
After being alerted to the presence of the explosives, police officers were deployed to monitor the site and set up signs warning locals of mine danger while experts cleared the area up through Tuesday.
“We worked with officials from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre [CMAC] in searching the site and we found 38 different unexploded ordnance,” Yutheavireak said.
Yutheavireak’s deputy, Suon Sameth, said that the haul of mortar shells, land mines and hand grenades had been used by Vietnamese-backed government troops during the 1980s, and that the area was a front line in the battle against Khmer Rouge soldiers.
CMAC official Pring Panharith said he had not yet received a final report confirming how many UXO had been found, but said some 15,000 were collected from Battambang province last year alone.
According to government figures, Battambang had the highest number of mine casualties for the Kingdom in both 2014 and 2015 – for a combined total of 68 killed or injured – more than double that of neighbouring Pailin, which had the next-highest rate.