The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) destroyed 100 units of six different kinds of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on May 24 after a man found them while ploughing land in Choam Ksan commune’s Choam Ksan village in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district.
Commune police chief Tun Tin said on May 24 that 100 units were found in total.
“CMAC took them away for destruction this morning. They can explode if they are pounded on or struck hard enough,” he said.
Ksan said that on the morning of May 23, a farmer had yolked his team of oxen to plough his land in the village. Then he saw the UXO emerge from the ground and immediately reported it to the police who then contacted CMAC.
“The bullets were located in an area that used to have army bases for Cambodia and Vietnam. There are various kinds of bullets and we don’t know who they belonged to. Previously the land had been cleared of mines but I guess they skipped the area with the pit where the mines were found,” Tin said.
CMAC director-general Heng Ratana could not be reached for comment on May 24.
Preah Vihear provincial deputy police chief Sam Samoeu told The Post that because the province bordered with Laos and Thailand it was a common place to bury ammunition and weapons during the war and that this location in particular was near the former headquarters of the Vietnamese Army in Cambodia.
“I don’t know who the mines belonged to – I guess the army laid the mines. But because of efforts to educate the public about the dangers of mines, there are not many victims these days,” he said.
Samoeu added that the mine-laden area was mainly the districts of Choam Ksan and Chheb.
“A few years ago, residents were not aware of the dangers related to mines and UXO – they picked them up and even played around with them. But after the local authorities and CMAC officials explained to them about this problem, very few residents have suffered accidents,” Samoeu said.