Police in Siem Reap province have handed over 14 unexploded ordnances left over from the war to an NGO tasked with demining.
Svay Leu commune police chief Hout Sopanha said yesterday that villagers found the unexploded ordnance while clearing land for farming and then contacted his police, who handed the bombs over to Cambodian Self Help Demining on Tuesday.
“We received 14 unexploded ordnances after villagers reported them to us,” he said. “The villagers found those ordnances on different parts of their land. We were lucky that they managed to retrieve the mines before they started farming.”
Mr Sopanha said that the villagers could have been in serious danger if they began planting crops.
“I am not sure when they were dropped, but they look rusty,” he said. “After receiving them, we contacted the NGO so the mines could be disposed nearby.”
According to a police report, the ordnances varied from 60mm mines to 85mm mines, and one 60mm warhead.
Ren Run, who works with CSHD, said 70 percent of the UXOs found by the villagers were still active and capable of being triggered.
“They were made by the Americans, Soviets and Chinese,” he said. “We usually destroy them at the scene.”
Casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance decreased last year in comparison to 2016, according to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority.
According to a CMAA report released last month, there were 39 accidents in 2017, a decrease of 46 percent if compared with the 72 cases in 2016.
Since 1979, a total of 64,720 casualties have been recorded by the Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System.