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50 years on, US bombings still terrorise Cambodia

Tan KW
Publish date: Mon, 16 May 2022, 08:38 AM

Yan Sam En is a farmer in the northeast Chetr Borei district. One day, almost 20 years ago, the father of five was working in the forest close to his home when he found four cluster bombs, unexploded remnants of the US carpet bombing that devastated the area in the 1960s.

“I didn’t want my children to play with the bombs, so I collected them, and as I did, one exploded. It blew off both my arms, and left me totally blind,” Sam En said.

“I was 43 years old. I’m almost 61 now, but time has not healed me.”

Sam En says he has been nothing but a burden to his family since the blast. He cannot do anything. He just sits at home all day.

“The US deprived me of everything. In a few seconds, I went from breadwinner to useless person.”

The cluster bombs that claimed Sam En’s eyes and arms are just a reminder of countless bombs that the US dropped on Cambodia during the US-Vietnam War, claiming countless other arms, legs and eyes, and thousands of lives.

Between 1965 and 1973, the US dropped 230,516 bombs in Cambodia. “At that time, I saw US warplanes flying around. They dropped bombs to cut off roads and bridges,” Sam En said.

He said the US has not provided any support to victims like him of its leftover bombs.

 - Xinhua

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