Three big US wartime bombs found in Kandal

Pav Suy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Police in Kandal province and officials from the Cambodian Mine Action Center have found three live bombs beneath a resident’s rice field in Kandal Stung district.
Yong Kong, the district deputy police chief, said the bombs were dropped from planes and were still live, ready to explode in the event of an impact.
“It is a bomb dropped from a warplane. It is an MK82,” he said.
“They weigh 227 kilograms each, equaling 500 pounds. There were three of them of the same type.
“We found them beneath the rice field of the villagers in Kauk Pring village in Kauk Troap commune.
“According to experts, the bombs were dropped from 1970 to 1973 during the American war. They are unexploded ordnance because when they were dropped, their bottoms came first. If their heads came first, they would [have] exploded.”
Mr. Kong told Khmer Times that it was difficult to excavate the bombs because any potential explosion would have a blast radius of more than 1,500m and would kill many people in the area.
Ideally, he said CMAC would have liked to perform a controlled explosion about 10 meters underground, where it would only have a blast radius of 800m.
CMAC eventually was able to extract the bombs and is now keeping them at their headquarters.
CMAC director general Heng Ratana, after discussing the removal of the bombs, leveled harsh criticism against the US on Facebook yesterday for its role in bombing Cambodia and the subsequent lack of funds given to remove unexploded ordnance.
He wrote that during the Vietnam War, the US was indiscriminately bombing Cambodians who had nothing to do with the Vietnamese or the war effort.
“This late afternoon, on March 1st, CMAC experts neutralized three MK82 bombs at Kuok Trop commune, Kandal Steung district, Kandal province,” he wrote.
“These bombs were safely transported to CMAC’s destination. This area was very close to Phnom Penh and it was a heavily bombed area.
“This was not on the Ho Chi Minh trail! Thus, some people still believe that the US bombardments in the kingdom were only to kill the Vietcong. [This] proves that it is not completely right.”
More munitions were also found in Battambang City, according to the National Police. In Serey Meanchey commune, 11 unexploded 66mm landmines were found in a rice field. The mines were destroyed by district police.

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