Lawn Mines


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Cambodia have scolded a man for his lawn decorations — old land mines and other abandoned ordnance still containing live explosives, an official said Friday.

About 30 unexploded munitions were hung from a tamarind tree and scattered around the man’s yard, said Khen Srieng, an official from the Cambodian Mines Action Center, the government agency that oversees mine clearance.

Khen Srieng, who went to the man’s home on Wednesday to collect the munitions for destruction, said they were left over from three decades of civil war that ended in the 1990s and that most of the mines were still active and dangerous.

He said the man used to be a junk collector and had gathered the devices from rice fields and forests near his home to sell as scrap. The man, whose name was not released, told Khen Srieng that after the government banned the sale and purchase of land mines and other unexploded ordnance, he didn’t know what to do with them.

What else could I even add to that story?


  1. If the government was smart, they’d pay people to collect those things.

    Of course, inevitably, what would happen is that they would run out of easily recoverable mines, and then the locals would start churning out new mines to sell the government, so maybe that’s not a good idea.

    See the British experience with cobras in India, under the Raj.

    • The other problem is people blowing themselves up trying to get the mines.

      Afghanistan has a small cottage industry of digging up land mines and selling the metal and explosives for scrap. Explosive results are fairly common.

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