Explosion at Cambodian Military Base Caused by “Technical Issue” with Ammunition: Defense Ministry

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – A tragic explosion at a military base in southwestern Cambodia resulting in the deaths of 20 soldiers and injuries to numerous others has been determined by the Defense Ministry to be the result of a “technical issue” linked to the handling of outdated and degraded ammunition during a transfer process. The incident took place over the weekend and shocked the nation with its devastating consequences.

Initial reports from the army indicated that the explosion, which occurred on Saturday, was likely due to a mishandling of ammunition by the troops stationed at the base. However, these findings were later clarified by the Defense Ministry, refuting claims made by an opposition figure in exile who suggested the blast might have been a deliberate attack.

Following the explosion, exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy took to social media to claim that anti-government dissidents were responsible for the blast, although no evidence was provided to support these allegations. The Defense Ministry countered by stating that while there were rumors circulating on social media about possible extremist involvement, their investigation had concluded that the explosion was indeed accidental.

Despite the tragic outcome, the army confirmed that the soldiers involved were in the process of transferring ammunition to a storage facility when the blast occurred, resulting in the immediate loss of 20 lives. Additionally, 11 individuals, including soldiers and local villagers, sustained minor injuries from debris caused by the damaged building rather than from shrapnel.

The explosion, which took place in Kampong Speu province, not only claimed lives but also caused significant damage to military vehicles, four structures on the base, and multiple homes in a nearby village. The incident serves as a grim reminder of the dangers faced by military personnel in their day-to-day operations, highlighting the importance of stringent safety protocols and training to prevent such tragedies in the future.