Accessibility links

Breaking News

Old Cache of Rockets Slated for Destruction

Cambodian army multiple rocket launchers are test fired at Phnom Sruoch complex of Cambodian army base, in Kampong Speu province, some 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. About 107 rounds of Russian-made BM-21 rockets were fired, according to the army. (AP photo/Heng Sinith)
PHNOM PENH - A private road construction company has unearthed 108 unexploded rockets in Kampong Speu province, police said Monday.

The Cambodian Mine Action Center will destroy the rockets, which were left over from Cambodia’s civil war, Keo Pisey, chief of the Kampong Speu provincial police, told VOA Khmer.

Heng Ratana, director-general for the mine-clearing organization, called the find “lucky,” but said the overall number of casualties from mines and unexploded ordnance has greatly decreased over the years.

Some 4,000 people were killed or wounded by such ordnance in 1996; that number was down to 185 in 2012, he said.

The discovery of the munitions cache follows the uncovering of another depot in Siem Reap by a farmer in Siem Reap province last month.

Some 1,750 square miles still need to be cleared in the country, which was littered with mine fields and unexploded ordnance following decades of civil war, Heng Ratana said. The estimated cost to finish clearing is more than $500 million, he said.