Three boys killed by old Cambodian rocket: police
Updated : 09/10/2012 16:33 GMT + 7
Three young Cambodian boys died when an old B-40 rocket exploded as they tried to break it open, police said Monday, in the latest deaths from ordnance left over after decades of civil war.
The children -- two boys aged eight and their friend aged nine -- picked up the rocket in the forest where they herd their cows on Sunday, said Keo Tann, the local district police chief in northwestern Oddar Meanchey province.
"They were trying to smash it open while they were on the way back home and it exploded," he told AFP by telephone.
The area was the site of a "fierce battle" during the civil war between the government and Khmer Rouge forces, he added.
Nearly three decades of civil war left impoverished Cambodia one of the world's most heavily mined countries.
In 2011, leftover landmines and other unexploded ordnance killed 43 people and caused 168 injuries, including 33 amputations, according to official statistics.