The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) began removing an aerial bomb found behind a house in Prey Veng province’s Cheurng Prey commune yesterday, according to a CMAC announcement.
Resident Chan Nol, who owns the land on which the bomb was found, had known about the bomb for years, according to Prey Veng district chief Leat Phirun, but had “just kept it there”.
He finally asked for CMAC intervention in mid-January, when he decided to renovate his home and build a latrine behind it.
“It’s the second time we found such a big bomb in our district; the first was in a pagoda,” Phirun said.
“CMAC told us, ‘When it is necessary, we will request the assistance of the authorities for an evacuation’,” said Phirun, noting that no such request had been made as of yesterday.
Phirun said that the bomb’s potential for destruction remained unknown. “I don’t know the name of the bomb because it is still in the ground,” said Phirun. “It is from the same time period as the Lon Nol coup, because it is an American bomb from a B52.”
Details on the exact model of the bomb were not available yesterday, and CMAC head Heng Ratana could not be reached for comment.
A CMAC team also intervened this week in Svay Rieng province’s Koki commune, where two tear gas bombs were unearthed last week. According to Koki commune chief Dorm Samorn, those bombs have not yet been moved.
“They are now covering the bombs with wood planks; CMAC will come see them tomorrow,” Samorn said yesterday.