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Girl, 7, loses eye playing with rocket

A seven-year-old girl in Preah Vihear province lost her eye and was badly wounded from the shards of a B40 rocket that exploded when she picked it up while scavenging over the weekend.

Mey Puth, deputy police chief of Choam Ksan district, said the victim is in serious condition from the shrapnel-inflicted wounds and is being treated at a provincial referral hospital.

About 3pm on Saturday, Puth said, the victim and two of her sisters were scavenging when she saw the rocket lying next to the root of a tree.

“It was just a part of the rocket [that she picked up], but it still exploded when touched,” he said.

The area was a battle zone during the civil war of the early to mid-1970s. Last week, a widow in Kratie province died after she struck a 60-millimetre mortar shell on a rubber plantation while clearing grass.

According to figures from the Cambodian Mine Action Center, 43 people were killed from unexploded ordnance and landmines last year.

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