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UXOs found in two separate provinces safely destroyed

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) officer deals with anti-personnel landmines in Preah Vihear province. CMAA

Twenty anti-personnel mines and 60mm mortar tails found by residents in Siem Reap province’s Svay Loeu district and Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district have been destroyed by the Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) team.

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Svay Loeu district police chief Colonel Sun Eng said yesterday morning that residents of Svay Leu commune’s Ou Meanchey village found 10 mortar tails at a bamboo tree located nearby their farm.

He said after receiving the information, he immediately contacted the relevant authorities to have the items destroyed.

“UXOs still contain ammunition which could explode at any time. They are very dangerous,” he said

“However, with the help of the CSHD, officers have safely removed the items without posing any danger to the people,” he said.

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) yesterday said on Saturday CSHD demining officers also cleared a number of Type 72 anti-personnel mines at Sra Em commune, Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear province, following reports of their existence from residents nearby.

CMAA said the mines were found by villagers while they were ploughing farmland.

CMAA has appealed to all citizens who find mines, war remnants and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) to avoid touching, grinding, throwing or trying to process them in any way, as it could cause an explosion, injury and death.

Should they find the UXOs, a report to local authorities and nearby landmine clearance operators must be made for their prompt removal, he said.

Director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) Heng Ratana said on Wednesday a two-wheel tractor hit an anti-personnel mine, causing it to explode. However, the driver was not injured in the accident.

He said the incident took place in Prey Chan village, O’Beichoan commune, O’Chrov district, Banteay Meanchey province, and CMAC officials also found another two mines near the scene.

According to CMAA’s report, between January and June, nine people were killed and 27 injured due to landmines and UXOs. The figure has declined by 42 percent compared with the same period last year.

The report said that the province with the highest number of UXOs and mine-related accidents was Battambang, with 14 casualties, followed by Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Pursat, Kratie, Preah Vihear, Tboung Khmum, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng and Oddar Meanchey provinces.

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