phnom sruoch district, Kompong Speu province – Villagers, senior military officials and the US Ambassador looked on Friday as RCAF destroyed a stock-pile of old soviet missiles to prevent them from falling into terrorists’ hands.
Villagers cheered and smoke billowed as RCAF weapons experts detonated at least two vehicle-mounted SA-3 Pechara surface-to-air missiles about 2 km from where the crowd was standing in Kompong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch.
“By pledging to destroy these missiles, Cambodia is setting an important precedent. Cambodia is leading Southeast Asia to a safer tomorrow,” US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli said.
Khan Bunthoeun, chief of RCAF weapon’s bureau, said the two missiles were the final ones to be destroyed from a collection of 36 acquired from the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
The US has provided technical and financial support for Cambodia to get rid of its Soviet missiles .
Standing on a red plastic chair to get a better view of the blasts, 11-year-old Sach Sakal was taken aback.
“I am very frightened when I hear such an explosion that I never did before,” he said. “I don’t want to hear any such noises any more in my country.”