Discovery of Two Big Holes of Grenades Buried Since Khmer Rouge Regime
Posted by khmernews on September 29, 2006
‘EACH HOLE MAY CONTAIN TONNES OF GRENADES’
Sampov Lun, Battambang – Two big holes in which grenades were buried since the Khmer Rouge Regime are discovered by Sampov Lun District police. The holes contain tonnes of unexploded ordnance buried meters deep in the ground.
The research found the two holes of grenades in Group 5, Trapeang Prolit Village, Santepheap Commune and in Koun Phnom Kahang Cheung Village, Ta Sda Commune, Sampov Lun District, Battambang Province since early October 2006; however, the grenades are not dared to be dug up. It is to wait for CMAC to use modern machines so it is safe to the human lives and the machines.
Lieutenant Sreng Sokha, a deputy inspector of Sampov Lun District Police and a police officer for UXO group, said that the two holes of grenades are surrounded by people’s houses. The first hole is in Group 5, Trapeang Prolit Village, Santepheap Commune, Sampov Lun District was indicated by former weapon warehouse guards of Pol Pot Regime. The former guards are now police officers of Sampov Lun District. There are two of them – Nhet Sarun and Chhun Chheng.
Mr. Sreng Sokha expressed according to the two police officers’ speech, the hole is 8 meters long, 4 meters wide, and 4-5 meters deep. The hole was dug by Khmer Rouge groups to burry the grenades before Cambodian and Vietnamese troops attacked to the border in 1985. Until 1994, the commander of Front 250 ordered excavators to dig the hole in order to get the grenades from the hole and to be used again. However, when they got about one tonnes of grenades, some grenades exploded, damaging the machines, so the commander ordered it to be buried again. It is assumed that about three to four tonnes of grenades are buried from four to five meters in the ground.
The police inspector said on 3 October 2006 that the district police cooperated with JSAC [Japan Assistant Team for Small Arms Management in Cambodia], CMAC, and SDR who are partners to test digging the hole by hands. Immediately after the digging started, a B-69 rocket and a wooden-handle grenade were found. For fear of danger to human lives, the joint officials discussed with each other and then suspended the excavation by putting the protective ropes around the hole prohibiting the people from getting closer to it. On 18 October 2006, the joint officials discussed again then CMAC stated that to get the grenades out of holes and not to harm people’s lives and the machines, first the people must be informed and evacuated so CMAC to dig up the grenades by using the modern machines donated by Japan. The officials once asked to rent two private excavators, but the owners did not dare dig up, they did not care how much the rent was offered.
Mr. Sreng Sokha stated that the second hole of grenades is near Hill 32 in the former complex of Front 250 Headquarters in Koun Phnom Khang Cheung Village, Ta Sda Commune, Sampov Lun District, of 5 meters long, 2.50 meters wide has not yet been touched. The second hole was found due to the indication by Mr. Hong Soeum, a former defending unit member of Front 250, and now a policeman of Land Border Defending Bridge 817.
The excavation of the two holes of grenades have not been resumed, by waiting for CMAC to use the machines because the grenades in the holes may explode anytime if they are touched and may lead to danger to human lives.
– Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #4115, Wednesday 25 October 2006