Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farmer ploughs into shells

Farmer ploughs into shells

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CMAC officials removed 58 artillery shells from a cornfield in Battambang province on Wednesday. CMAC

Farmer ploughs into shells

Fifty-eight 105mm artillery shells were removed from a cornfield by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in Battambang province on Wednesday.

Kamrieng district police chief Koem Ponlork told The Post on Thursday that at 10am a 66-year-old resident living in Lumphat village, O’Da commune, Kamrieng district, requested assistance from CMAC officials to check and excavate the shells from a hole in his cornfield.

“In that field, our authorities found three pieces of 105 mm artillery shells coming out of the ground on a tractor plough patch. Nearby, specialists found another shell hole in the field, bringing the total to 58 artillery shells that were found,” Ponlork said.

The owner of the field, Chhun Hoeub, told The Post he was in a state of shock and panic when his plough tractor unearthed three shells, although it didn’t cause an explosion.

“Just seeing the three shells pop out of the ground on the tractor plough patch, I was terrified and stopped the tractor and ran away because I was afraid it would explode.

“I am still terrified because it was not only three shells, but the CMAC team found 55 more buried in the ground beneath the three shells,” Hoeub said.

He said the artillery shells had been taken by CMAC officials to safe locations.

Also on Wednesday, in Kratie province’s Chhlong district, while fishing with a net at Balaing village, Damrei Phung commune, a fisherman called on villagers to help pull their nets, believing there was a huge fish.

When the villagers pulled the net to the side, they saw a huge cluster of bombs, which surprised them and the authorities, according to local police officials.

District Police Chief Chhong Toran told The Post that at first, the police team was shocked that the bomb was so big. He said it was unprecedented.

“We immediately contacted CMAC to inspect the shell and the specialist said it was a cluster bomb [CBU-46/A],” he said.

He said the cluster bomb had been taken by CMAC officials to a safe location.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Thursday that according to the technical specifications, cluster bombs can weigh up to 340kg and have a length of 3.22m and a width of 401mm.

They are dropped from jets and inside the body is a cluster of 444 bombs, each weighing 500g, which are smaller sub-munitions that are ejected and scattered.

“This type of cluster bomb is an American product,” he said.


  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there