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Farmer killed after accidentally hitting landmine

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A farmer is killed after the tractor he was driving accidentally hit a landmine. Rasmei News

A farmer was killed following an accidental mine explosion in Oddar Meanchey province. The victim was said to have been ploughing on farmland in the province’s Anlong Veng district when the tragedy happened.

Heng Ratana, director- general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre said yesterday the accident took place at 2.30pm on Wednesday when the victim, who was driving a tractor to plough the field, accidentally hit the landmine.“I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the deceased, whose death was a tragedy caused by the explosive remnants of war,” he said.

District police chief Colonel Sim Vannak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, district police officer Chhoeun, who refused to provide his full name, said the explosion not just killed the victim but also decimated the tractor which he was on. He said the site where the accident took place was a former battlefield during the Khmer Rouge.

Mr Chhoeun noted officials have previously disseminated information to the public regarding the risks in such mine-contaminated areas.

“The area was initially banned by authorities from entry due to the existence of unexploded ordnances in the area, all of which are being searched for by the authorities. But some people refuse to listen and continues to cultivate the land,” he said.

A CMAC report said its expert officials have, in this year’s first quarter, cleared landmines and unexploded ordnances on nearly 40 square kilometres of mine- contaminated areas. The clearance activities have uncovered more than 4,750 landmines and UXOs.

Despite the progress, the report said 19 people were killed or injured by landmines and UXOs, with most of the victims being children and youths under the age of 18.

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