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Unexploded ordnance found while excavating land

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
Villagers found unexploded bombs while digging to build a toilet. Nokorwat News

Thirteen unexploded bombs left over from the civil war were unearthed when a villager was excavating soil to construct a toilet on Friday in Kampong Chhnang city’s Ba’ier commune, according to police.

Pin Kimsan, chief of Ba’ier commune police, said the bombs were found as the villager prepared for construction.

“We found the unexploded ordnances, which are all 105mm mines. There are 13 in total. The bombs were found where the villager was planning to build a toilet,” he said. “They excavated the ground and found the bombs lying there.”

Mr Kimsan said the bombs were removed in two stages because many of them stretched across the ground onto an adjacent property.

“After they saw them, they reported it to us and later we contacted the Cambodian Mine Action Centre to come to retrieve them,” he added.

Five bombs were removed in the first stage and the others, which stretched underneath the gate of a neighbouring home, were removed in the second stage, Mr Kimsan noted.

“As a precaution, before digging further, they had the homeowner sign an agreement promising not to seek compensation if the gate fell,” he said. “In the second stage, we successfully removed the eight bombs without the gate falling.”

He added that all of the ordnance was rusty and vulnerable to explosion and likely left behind from the 1970s.

Last week, villagers in Siem Reap province found 14 unexploded bombs left over from the civil war while clearing land for farming. Police handed over the unexploded ordnance to an NGO tasked with demining.

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.

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