Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers warned against demining without experts

Villagers warned against demining without experts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Anti-tank mines are found hung from a tree in Preah Brolay commune in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district on March 1. CMAC

Villagers warned against demining without experts

Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana on March 3 reiterated his call for people to refrain from clearing land in areas known to have unexploded ordnance (UXO), regardless if they used to be in the military or have experience in mining activities.

“Taking the risk of clearing land that has landmines and other UXOs could result in death or injury, as well as damaging property,” he said.

The call came after CMAC’s 6th Mine Action Unit on March 1 found a landmine hanging from a tree near a dirt road in the Krahorm Senchey temple area in Preah Brolay commune of Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district. There was also other UXOs on the tree, which were leftover from the war.

The unit then searched and gathered information about other ordnance. There were four to five villagers who boasted that the UXOs were collected from the land they had just been clearing. The villagers claimed they used to be soldiers and knew how to lay and clear mines.

Ratana said the villagers even mocked members of the unit, saying they hung the explosives on the tree to make it easy for CMAC officers to find. The villagers also claimed that the land was free of mines.

Ratana said however that this area was surely a minefield, based on the ordnance villagers had found. He said demining officers later found an additional two landmines, five 60mm bullets, four AT67 and one type of 69 mine (anti-personnel mine), according to the unit’s head Minh Sron.

Sron told The Post that once villagers saw all of these weapons, they began to trade blame, accusing each other of being “too arrogant”.

“They were afraid there were mines remaining under the ground that could kill and they then walked away. The area is actually a minefield that has not been completely cleared,” he said.

Ratana said minefields and explosives left from the war are only safe when they have been cleared using the proper procedures.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four