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Landmine casualties down for 2012

A downward trend in landmine casualties has continued in Cambodia, data released yesterday by the Cambodian Mine Victims Information System shows.

In a statistics report released yesterday, CMVIS details landmine removal and deaths related to unexploded ordnances this year. According to the report, 25 people were killed, down 7 per cent from the same period last year. 

In the first seven months of this year there were 114 casualties.

“According to the statistics we’ve been seeing there has been a downward trend for years in landmine casualties,” Clare O’Reilly, program officer at Mines Advisory Group, said.

“A lot of the kind of accidents we’ve been hearing about are farmers and agricultural communities; people newly clearing areas with heavy machinery are the victims we’ve seen recently,” she said.

Casualty figures showed an annual downward trend from 2007-2009 and while 2010 spiked slightly, the 286 recorded casualties that year are nowhere near peak casualty years in the ’90s, such as in 1996 when 4,320 were reported.

A total of 19,644 people have been killed from landmine explosions since 1979 or the end of Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Will at rachel.will@phnompenhpost.com

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