Nearly 70 killed or hurt by UXOs this year

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Villagers aid a man injured by a landmine in Pursat province. CMAC

Sixty-seven people were killed or injured by mines and unexploded ordnance during the past nine months and three weeks.

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority said that from January until October 17, there were 47 cases, 21 from landmines and 26 from UXOs.

“So far this year, 11 people were killed, 43 were injured and 13 had their limbs amputated due to explosions,” it said in a report obtained yesterday. “The number of casualties increased by 34 percent from the same period last year when 50 people were killed or injured.”

The report said that this year, 47 of the casualties were men, six were women and 15 were children under 18.

It noted that most of the accidents occurred when children picked up UXOs to play, people tried to recycle them, during land clearing or when victims stepped on landmines while hunting for food in unfamiliar territory.

Ny Nhar, CMAA’s Victim Assistance Department deputy-director, yesterday said there is still concern over accidents caused by unexploded munitions, mainly ordnances which are picked up by people.

“The number of cases is similar to the previous year, but the casualties have increased because sometimes one explosion causes several people to be killed or injured,” he said.

Mr Nhar noted steps are being taken in cooperation with local authorities to reduce the risk of accident in mine-riddled areas in the Kingdom.

“Recently we held a meeting to prepare pictorial messages about accidents caused by UXO,” he said. “We will highlight what type of accidents frequently occur as part of a drive to educate people about the dangers posed by UXOs.”

Mr Nhar said that the pictorial messages will be distributed in areas where accidents caused by UXO occur the most.

“We will see if the number of accidents goes down after we distribute the messages,” he added.

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