Banteay Meanchey provincial police uncovered 15 usable artillery shells buried together in a barrel near the Thai border for as long as 10 years, officials said Thursday.
The Chinese-made 105-millimeter shells, found near Banteay Chmar commune, Thma Puok district, are “very dangerous” because they can be fired without the aid of a gun, said Sok Saret, provincial chief of police. All someone needs are two crossed sticks for support and an electrical charge from a battery to fire a round, which has a range of up to 8 km, he said.
Provincial governor Thack Khorn said the shells were taken to an ammunition warehouse. The area was controlled by Funcinpec forces allied with the Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese government in the 1980s.
In an unrelated case, Thai forces had lobbed artillery shells into the district recently in an attempt to stop smugglers.