Chemicals in war-era barrels tested and confirmed as tear gas

The head of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAC) said Thursday that field testing of a pair of war-era barrels found by villagers in Mondolkiri province earlier this week identified the contents as CS, a tear gas-like powder or aerosol that was used by the U.S. during its war in Vietnam.

CMAC staff initially thought the pair of 200-liter barrels, found about a kilometer apart in O’Reang district, might hold a kind of defoliant, which the U.S. also used extensively during the war to rob the Viet Cong of forest cover.

But CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said field testing of the contents Thursday morning confirmed that the barrels held CS. …

Zsombor Peter and Saing Soenthrith