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Farmer unearths 95 grenades

Farmer unearths 95 grenades

120611_03

Russian-made grenades lined up on a cassava farm in the Svay Chek district of Banteay Meanchey province, where a local villager discovered the unexploded ordnance. Photograph: supplied

A cache of 95 Russian-made grenades left over from the civil war in the early 1990s was discovered last week by a farmer in Banteay Meanchey’s Svay Chek district.

The cache, buried under a tree on the farmer’s land in Khlangpor Thbong village, was found while the farmer was preparing the land for planting with a home-made plough.

“I think it was good luck for the villager, because the grenades are still in good condition [and] therefore they did not explode,” Svay Chek district police chief Roeung Bor said.

He said district officials from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre had collected the grenades and suspected there was more unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the area.

CMAC set up signs warning villagers to exercise the utmost caution.

“Our villagers are worried now when they go down for farming, but they have no choice,” Roeung Bor said.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said there had been 81 casualties in the first four months of 2012, 30 from mines and 51 from UXO.

He said he could not recall the exact number of fatalities.

In 2011, he said, there were 107 casualties caused by mines, and 104 caused by UXO.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]

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