Weapons Cache Found by Farmer

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A cache of unexploded ordnance (UXO) was found by a farmer in Odar Meanchey province’s Banteay Ampil district over the weekend, according to officials.
 
Captain Phleav El, the district police chief, said a total of 28 unexploded grenades intended for use by an M79 grenade launcher were found by 32-year-old Prum Saram, who was clearing land on his tractor in preparation to plant crops in Ampil commune’s Romduol Chas village at about 8:30 on Saturday morning.
 
After being alerted by Mr. Saram, police came to investigate the stockpile, concluding that the grenades were owned by Khmer Rouge forces that holed up in the area in the 1980s.
 
“These unexploded M-79 grenades belonged to the resistant troops. They were abandoned in 1986 during the fighting between the resistant troops and our government troops,” he said.
 
He said police transported the stockpile to Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) authorities to safely destroy them.
 
He called on villagers to report to local police when UXO are found on their farms or land.
 
Mines and UXO remain a leading cause of casualties and death in the country, with an estimated 4 to 6 million landmines and other munitions left from the decades of war and internal conflict, according to a CMAC report in November last year.
 
The northwestern regions bordering Thailand, such as Odar Meanchey, are heavily affected, while other parts of the country are considered moderate to low impact zones. According to a report, landmine and UXO explosions killed 19,720 people between 1979 and September last year.

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