Domenica, 07 Febbraio 2016 10:09 | 2 Cambodian kids die hitting discarded rocket with an axe

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Phnom Penh – Two Cambodian children have been killed trying toprise open a discarded rocket-propelled grenade with an axe, police said onMonday.

Nearly three decades of civil war gripped Cambodia from the

1960s,leaving the poverty-stricken nation both one of the most heavily bombed andheavily mined countries in the world.

The children, cousins aged 12 and 14, came across the unexplodedordnance on Friday while hunting for wild birds close to their home in centralKampong Thom province, local commune police chief Pen Sam Oth told AFP.

"They used an axe to try and open up the old grenade and iteventually exploded, killing them both instantly," he said, adding that athird boy escaped unharmed and alerted police and local villagers.

The grenade came from a B-40, a variant of the Russian RPG-2frequently used by Vietnamese troops during their war against the United Statesand Hanoi's later invasion of Cambodia.

The country has taken major steps to clear millions of unexplodedbombs but maimings and fatalities are still common with children in particularoften unaware of how dangerous such objects can be.

Unexploded ordnance has killed nearly 20 000 people and woundeddouble that number since 1979.

Cambodia reported 111 landmine and unexploded ordnance casualties,including 18 deaths, in 2015 while 154 people were killed or injured byleftover mines in 2014.

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