Cambodia recovers war-left U.S. massive aerial bomb from riverbed in capital
A Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC)'s bomb expert team on Thursday safely removed a war-left unexploded AN-M66 aerial bomb from the Chaktomuk River in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, a mine clearance chief said.
CMAC's director-general Heng Ratana said the U.S.-made bomb, weighing 2,000 pounds and containing roughly 1,000 pounds of explosives, was found when workers were cleaning up the riverbed near the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel opposite to the Royal Palace.
"CMAC bomb experts have closely worked with the Phnom Penh municipal authorities to transport this bomb to a safe area for CMAC's experts to take further action," he said.
"If it was a case of explosion of this AN-M66 bomb, it could cause huge damages to hotels, houses or even the Royal Palace," Ratana said. "This is one of great lucks for Cambodians."
It was estimated that between 1965 and 1973, the U.S. dropped about 2.7 million tons of explosives on 113,716 locations in Cambodia.
Cambodia is one of the countries which badly suffered from mines and unexploded ordnances as the results of three decades of war and internal conflicts from the mid-1960s until 1998. An estimated 4 to 6 million land mines and other munitions were left over from the conflicts.
From 1979 to 2021, a total of 64,964 landmine and unexploded ordnances casualties were recorded in Cambodia. Of the casualties, 19,808 people were killed and 45,156 others were either injured or amputated. (1 pound equals 0.454 kg) ■