Large US bomb found in pond

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Officials examine the Kandal Stung district bomb. Supplied

Divers from the Cambodian Mine Action Center have recovered a 500-pound bomb dropped from US planes on to Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district.
 
Center director-general Heng Ratana said underwater demining experts removed the MK-82 bomb from an aquaculture pond.
 
The team was sent in after residents alerted the center to the presence of the bomb in the muddy water.
 
“The bomb has been safely removed and transferred to the Kampong Chhnang province-based CMAC to defuse,” Mr. Ratana said.  
 
“So far this year, more than 20 unexploded MK-82 bombs have been recovered throughout the kingdom – through the most have been from Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces.”
 
He said 10 local people had been killed or injured by mines or explosives this year.   
 
Last week, two unexploded MK-82 bombs were removed by CMAC officials from the Tonle Sap lake in Kampong Chhnang province after fishermen and local authorities raised the alarm.
 
From 1969 to 1973, the US dropped about 500,000 tons of explosives on Cambodian soil without the approval of Congress, which was required at the time for any military action.
 
The tension over Cambodia’s debt to the US – which has grown to about $500 million according to US Ambassador William A. Heidt – heightened last month when US Ambassador William Heidt called on Cambodia to repay the debt that has been accumulating since the days before the Khmer Rouge regime.
 
Mr. Heidt likened Cambodia to Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe for failing to pay back the debt.
 
Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly urged the US to cancel the debt.
 
“Cambodia fell into the destruction of civil war after being invaded by US imperialism, which then fell to the genocidal regime of Pol Pot,” Mr. Hun Sen said last year.
 
“Without supporting the coup and without the invasion of Cambodia by the US, the genocidal regime of Pol Pot would not have occurred.”
 
Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan, professors and historians who have studied the US bombing campaign in Cambodia, told Khmer Times in 2015: “During the four years of United States B-52 bombardment of Cambodia from 1969 to 1973, the Khmer Rouge forces grew from possibly one thousand guerrillas to over 200,000 troops and militia.”
 
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.

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