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Landmine casualties drop by 25 percent

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
An old bomb, one of many in the country, is retrieved from the ground. Supplied

The number of casualties from landmines last year dropped by a quarter compared with the year before, the first time the number of deaths or injuries have been less than 100, the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) said yesterday.
 
CMAA first vice-president Serei Kosal said that to date, more than one million anti-personnel mines (APM) had been destroyed after demining efforts covered 1,500 square kilometers nationwide.
 
“These results have really contributed to the reduction of casualties every year. Remarkably the casualties dropped below 100 victims in 2016 for the very first time,” Mr. Kosal said during an awards ceremony for the Mine Advisory Group.
 
“To end the suffering we need to further re-energize all efforts and contributions from all operators, the government of Cambodia and all development partners to get the job done by 2025 covering the total affected area of 1,946 square kilometers with no more than $406 million.”
 
According to the group, 1,032,277 APMs, 24,179 anti-tank mines and 2,646,657 unexploded ordnance (UXO) have been found and destroyed to date. Last year, 83 people died or were injured from landmines or UXOs, a 25 percent reduction compared with the year before.
 
Since 1997, CMAA reported there having been 19,748 deaths and 44,914 injuries, most of which resulted in amputation, from undiscovered landmines.

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