3 Cambodian deminers killed by anti-tank mines

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Three Cambodian deminers were killed on Monday (Jan 10) by anti-tank landmines that exploded as they tried to remove them, authorities said.

The three experts from non-profit organisation Cambodia Self-Help Demining (CSHD) were killed instantly in the blast, which also seriously injured one other person.

The team were removing leftover mines from the country’s bitter civil war in a remote village in northwestern Preah Vihear province, said Mr Heng Ratana, director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre.

“This is really sad news. They were trying to remove two or three anti-tank mines that were stacked on each other,” Mr Sophin Sophary, CSHD’s operations manager, told AFP.

In a separate incident, a man burning vegetation on his farm was killed by war-era ordnance in the same village just 20 minutes before the explosion that killed the deminers, according to Mr Heng Ratana.

Cambodia was ravaged by nearly three decades of civil war from the 1960s, leaving the poverty-stricken nation one of the most heavily bombed and heavily mined countries in the world.

Around 20,000 people have been killed there since 1979 and twice as many have been wounded in landmine and unexploded ordnance accidents.

The kingdom has vowed to clear all mines and unexploded ordnance by 2025.


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