Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear UXO threat marked




Preah Vihear UXO threat marked

Preah Vihear UXO threat marked

Deminers have marked 47 hectares of land in two villages in Preah Vihear province as dangerous areas due to shelling from Thai forces during February clashes along the border.

Heng Ratana, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, said yesterday his staff had marked parts of Chey Sen and Thomarcheat villages in Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district, but lacked the resources to clear the land immediately.

CMAC has destroyed 20 unexploded shells as well as 12 cluster munitions found at the sites, he said. Though both armies used heavy artillery in the fighting, Thailand used cluster bombs – large shells that split open before impact and spread dozens of small bomblets across a wide area.

The Thai military does not consider the weapons used to be cluster bombs, though they appear to have all the tell-tale characteristics.

The controversial weapons have been internationally condemned because they often lie dormant for years, leaving a lasting threat to civilians. Neither Cambodia nor Thailand has signed a treaty banning cluster bombs. CMAC had found no evidence that cluster munitions were used in the fighting that broke out last month, Minh Sron, Oddar Meanchey provincial chief for CMAC, said yesterday.

He did not know how long it would take to clear sites in Oddar Meanchey, but added that there have been no reports of civilians injured by UXOs yet.

Meanwhile, there has also been an “ongoing effort” to clear Cambodian shells on the Thai side, Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THOMAS MILLER

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters