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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Migrants flee into border minefield

Migrants flee into border minefield

A man lost his leg to a landmine on Saturday as he and nine other migrant workers fleeing Thai police unwittingly strayed into a minefield near the border around Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, police said.

So Chanry, of border police unit 911 in Banteay Meanchey, identified the injured man as Chrok Set, 18, of Siem Reap province’s Angkor Thom district. Chanry said Set was in a stable condition and receiving treatment at the Mongkul Borei District Hospital.

Authorities said Set and the other men were returning to Cambodia from Thailand when they encountered police and mistakenly fled into the minefield. Upon receiving word of the injuries, unit 911 marked a path to the victim using a mine detector and were able to take Set and the others to safety.

Khim Thun, of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, said yesterday that his office had conducted educational sessions with locals, “but the new migrants do not know about the location, so they sometimes meet with accidents”.

“The area in which the accident happened is a no-man’s zone around the Thai-Cambodian border,” he added.

From January 2015 to February 2016, the most recent month for which figures are available, Banteay Meanchey saw nine casualties from unexploded ordnance, making it the fourth-most dangerous province in the country.

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