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Year-on-year mine casualties remain stagnant

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
CMAC deminer working at the field. CMAC

The number of casualties caused by landmine and explosive remnants of war remained stagnant this year, according to a report issued by the Cambodian Mine Action Authority.

The report, obtained by the Khmer Times yesterday, stated that ten people were killed and another 48 people were injured from January until December, the same number of casualties in 2017.

“The figure of the deaths and injuries are the same as last year,” the report said, noting that this year there were 16 children casualties, 36 men and six women. In 2017, there were 18 children casualties, 35 men and 5 women.

The report added that the casualties occurred in 16 provinces, including Kampong Speu, Battambang, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Pursat, Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang, Kandal, Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri, Koh Kong, Pailin, and Phnom Penh.

It noted that the most casualties were reported in Kampong Speu, with 11.

“The people who were killed and injured by landmines and ERWs were playing with them, demining, travelling, farming, looking for food, logging, clearing land for farming, partaking in military activities or defecating,” it said.

The Halo Trust has reported that from January to November, its deminers contributed to clearing and destroying 5,337 UXOs, including 1,783 anti-personnel mines, 45 anti-tank mines and 3,509 shells.

The Kingdom is aiming to become mine-free by 2025.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Cambodian Mine Action Centre experts successfully cleared an old ammunition warehouse near the Kampong Cham provincial police headquarters.

The operation to locate any UXOs left in the former weapons depot started on December 12 and lasted until this week.

The director-general of CMAC Heng Ratana posted on his Facebook yesterday that “CMAC experts have successfully cleared an old ammunition warehouse which was burnt and buried for decades”.

“This was a real high risk operation,” he added.

He noted that deminers found more than 900 shells, 20 landmines, more than 600 shell heads and more than 2,000 kilograms of small arms.

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