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Unexploded ordnance kills five in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH (AP) – Two separate explosions from ordnance left over from Cambodia’s decades of warfare killed five people and injured two others, the head of the country’s de-mining agency said on Monday.

Some four million to six million land mines and other unexploded munitions are estimated to have littered Cambodia’s countryside during almost three decades of war and disorder that ended in 1998.

On Saturday, four members of a family in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri who had gone into the forest to collect resin were killed when a grenade exploded from a handheld B-41 rocket launcher believed to date from the 1980s, according to Director General of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre Heng Ratana.

He said he did not know what set off the device, which also injured a six-year-old girl and the mother in the same family. Heng Ratana also told The Associated Press that a 47-year-old man who was a dealer of sand used in construction was killed on Sunday in the southern city of Sihanoukville when a 105-mm artillery shell exploded.

A de-mining expert works at a clearance site of land mines near in Pailin province, Cambodia. PHOTO: AP