Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farmer ploughs into shells

Farmer ploughs into shells

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CMAC officials removed 58 artillery shells from a cornfield in Battambang province on Wednesday. CMAC

Farmer ploughs into shells

Fifty-eight 105mm artillery shells were removed from a cornfield by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in Battambang province on Wednesday.

Kamrieng district police chief Koem Ponlork told The Post on Thursday that at 10am a 66-year-old resident living in Lumphat village, O’Da commune, Kamrieng district, requested assistance from CMAC officials to check and excavate the shells from a hole in his cornfield.

“In that field, our authorities found three pieces of 105 mm artillery shells coming out of the ground on a tractor plough patch. Nearby, specialists found another shell hole in the field, bringing the total to 58 artillery shells that were found,” Ponlork said.

The owner of the field, Chhun Hoeub, told The Post he was in a state of shock and panic when his plough tractor unearthed three shells, although it didn’t cause an explosion.

“Just seeing the three shells pop out of the ground on the tractor plough patch, I was terrified and stopped the tractor and ran away because I was afraid it would explode.

“I am still terrified because it was not only three shells, but the CMAC team found 55 more buried in the ground beneath the three shells,” Hoeub said.

He said the artillery shells had been taken by CMAC officials to safe locations.

Also on Wednesday, in Kratie province’s Chhlong district, while fishing with a net at Balaing village, Damrei Phung commune, a fisherman called on villagers to help pull their nets, believing there was a huge fish.

When the villagers pulled the net to the side, they saw a huge cluster of bombs, which surprised them and the authorities, according to local police officials.

District Police Chief Chhong Toran told The Post that at first, the police team was shocked that the bomb was so big. He said it was unprecedented.

“We immediately contacted CMAC to inspect the shell and the specialist said it was a cluster bomb [CBU-46/A],” he said.

He said the cluster bomb had been taken by CMAC officials to a safe location.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Thursday that according to the technical specifications, cluster bombs can weigh up to 340kg and have a length of 3.22m and a width of 401mm.

They are dropped from jets and inside the body is a cluster of 444 bombs, each weighing 500g, which are smaller sub-munitions that are ejected and scattered.

“This type of cluster bomb is an American product,” he said.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be