The Ministry of Defence will today hold an emergency meeting on what to do with two tear gas barrel bombs found in Svay Rieng province.
The bombs are believed to have been dropped by the United States during the Vietnam War.
The meeting was called after provincial authorities appealed to the ministry to send chemical weapons experts to dispose of the bombs by whatever means possible.
The Cambodian Mine Action Centre first discovered the bombs early this year. One was found at a primary school and the other at a pagoda in Korki commune.
CMAC was unable to safely remove or defuse them, so was forced to leave the bombs where they were.
Provincial Governor Men Vibol said the bombs contain CS gas and were dropped by US bombers during the 1970s.
Exposure to CS gas causes a burning sensation to the eyes, nose, mouth and throat, causing coughing, disorientation and difficulty breathing.
“These two chemical bombs constitute a threat to local people, students and monks who are living near that area,” Mr Vibol said.
Villagers in Korki commune meanwhile claimed that more chemical bombs are likely threatening people in the area, hidden in the undergrowth or buried underground.
According to data released in 2000, the US dropped two million bombs – 800,000 tonnes’ worth – on Cambodia from 1963 to 1975, with the aim of destroying Viet Cong invaders.
However, more than 500,000 Cambodian citizens were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed.
Mines and unexploded bombs 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.