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Explosion injures one

An anti-tank mine exploded in Battambang province’s Bavel district on Saturday, injuring an agricultural worker and damaging machinery, an official said, marking the latest in an upswing of explosions this year.

The victim, identified only as Sok, 46, of Bavel’s Kdol Tahen commune, and was hired by a local to plough his farm, according to Touch Chanrith, Bavel deputy district governor.

At about 10am, when Sok was ploughing, villagers heard a loud noise and rushed to the scene. There, witnesses saw mangled machinery and Sok, who had been hit with shrapnel. He was rushed to a district hospital for treatment, Chanrith said.

Anti-tank mines are still prevalent in Battambang, where holdout Khmer Rouge forces fought the government until the late 1990s.

Sok Chenda, a coordinator for the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, could not be reached, but has said in the past that Bavel is one of the three most heavily mined districts in Battambang.

In the first five months of the year, some 89 people were killed or injured in explosions. In all of 2013, there were at least 111 victims.

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