Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered 500 soldiers with 200 anti-aircraft weapons to be deployed on the border with Vietnam amid repeated incursions by unidentified drones into the Southeast Asian country’s territory.
The troops are needed to “prevent all forms of invasion or espionage, while we don’t yet know the origin of those drones,” Hun Sen said on Wednesday. “The only way to deal with them is to shoot them down.”
According to the PM, UAVs have been violating the country’s airspace on a daily basis over the past week. He blamed the country’s military of being “too gentle” by failing to destroy any of the drones as yet.
The head of the government offered a $200,000 reward to any unit, which shoots down a drone to help identify those sending the aircraft.
Hun Sen speculated that Vietnam-based “ethnic insurgents” could be behind the incursions by the UAVs. The group in question is believed to be responsible for two attacks on government offices in Vietnam’s Dak Lak province on June 11, in which nine people were killed.
The drones could be launched from the territory of another country or from a ship, he added.
“We urge those countries that allow drones to violate Cambodian airspace to immediately halt their actions. It is an act of terrorism against Cambodia,” Hun Sen claimed.
However, the PM made it clear that he didn’t blame the authorities in Hanoi for the drone incidents.
“We asked Vietnam and Vietnam didn’t even know. Vietnam said it has no interest in launching a drone without notifying Cambodia. I believe it isn’t from Vietnam,” he explained.
Hun Sen also promised that once Phnom Penh finishes its own investigation into the drone incursions, it is going to appeal to the UN over the situation.
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