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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deminer dies removing UXO in Pailin province

Deminer dies removing UXO in Pailin province

A deminer working to extract a piece of unexploded ordnance from a tree root was killed in Pailin province on Monday, the National Center for Peace-keeping Forces (NPMEC) confirmed yesterday.

The fatality was the second death of a demining expert on the job in just four days, with a Halo Trust employee killed in the same province last Friday. NPMEC’s Malinda Kosal yesterday said Sous Yoeun, 38, was killed by the explosion in Sala Krao district as he tried to cut away tree roots to dismantle the Russian-made PMN planted during the civil war.

Yoeun leaves behind a wife and two children. “It rarely happens; this is the first death [from NPMEC] since 2005,” Kosal said.

“It is a tragic incident.” The tragedies followed a year in which mine casualties fell to an all-time low, with just 83 recorded in 2016.

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s Heng Ratana said his men were rocked by the recent events and were being debriefed so they could keep “a stable mindset”.

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