By Meng Fanyang, Zhao Wenhuan and Zhang Boyu
BEIJING, Sept. 22 -- Members of the Chinese task force, which was participating in the "Pure Homeland-2023" multinational joint demining operation in Cambodia, disposed of seven unexploded bombs on September 19. This was a record high for the Chinese task force in this joint operation.
The minefield is located on the hill in the backyard of the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces of Royal Cambodian Armed Force, which is covered by dense vegetation and sprawling bushes. It is learnt that the minefield is a legacy of the Cambodian civil war dating back several decades. Lack of reference material, the Cambodian side hasn't cleared it since the war terminated. Later it was used as a live-firing range, further making it an extremely dangerous place. So far, three people died in the minefield, with another ten injured.
Apart from unexploded bombs, there are large quantities of shell cases, shrapnel and other metal objects, resulting in more than 50 metal signal sources per square meter on average. Additionally, due to Cambodia's tropical monsoon climate, the minefield features hot weather and numerous snakes, insects and rats, requiring the demining operators to not only overcome the impact of high temperature, but also watch out for poisonous snakes and ants.
After manual search and confirmation, seven unexploded bombs including rocket, 75 mm recoilless gun shell and 81 mm mortar shell were found. Then the Chinese demining team neutralized all those unexploded bombs immediately.
Since the start of the demining operation there, the Chinese demining team has swept a minefield area of over 50 square meters, cleared a total of over 2,400 shell fragments, rocket fins and other metal objects, and successfully disposed of 10 unexploded bombers of all types.