Old grenades found buried in Battambang

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The old American-made grenades. Supplied

Twelve grenades were discovered by a farmer in Battambang province’s Ek Phnom district yesterday morning.
 
Ngin Sam Ol, the deputy commander of the district military police, said the US-made grenades were found in two metal ammunition boxes after Meas Chanti, 22, hit a small mound while plowing a rice field with his tractor.
 
“We have already informed technical experts from the Cambodia Mine Action Center [CMAC] to collect the grenades,” he said, noting that police had already removed them from the field.
 
“All those found are old and cannot be used. They are being kept at the district military police station to be handed over to CMAC officials who will destroy them.”
 
Meanwhile, provincial authorities in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district found unexploded ordnance (UXO) inside the forest on Sunday.
 
District police officer Buo Ngeth said authorities estimated there to be about 500 pieces of UXO from old unusable anti-tank weapons.
 
“We cannot touch or count the anti-tank weapons that include 120mm mortars, 82mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and various anti-tank mines to avoid an accident that could happen at any time,” he said.
 
“Those old explosives are still in the forest. We put a ‘do not enter’ sign around them,” he said, adding that provincial authorities would destroy them at the scene as soon as possible.
 
Mr. Ngeth said Veal Veng district was a frontline conflict zone between the Khmer Rouge and government forces in the 1980s.
 
Mines and UXOs remain a leading cause of casualties and deaths in the kingdom, with an estimated four to six million landmines and other munitions left over from decades of war and internal conflict, according to a CMAC report from last November.
 
The northwestern regions bordering Thailand are heavily affected, while other parts of the country are considered moderate to low impact zones, affected mainly by explosive remnants of war.
 
According to a report, landmine and UXO explosions killed 19,720 people from 1979 to September 2015.
 
The Cambodian Mine Action Authority reported on Friday that landmine casualties dropped by 25 percent last year, with 83 deaths in 2016.

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