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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mine casualties drop in January

Mine casualties drop in January

FIVE people were killed in January by land mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), and an additional nine were injured, two of whom required amputations, according to the latest statistics compiled by the Cambodia Mine/UXO Victim Information System (CMVIS).

The total number of casualties, 14, marked a 59 percent decrease from the 34 recorded in January 2009.

Six of the seven incidents recorded in the new report involved land mines – two in areas where Royal Cambodian Armed Forces troops were present, one along a path, one on a riverbank, one in a “foraging area” and one in an area that was being demined. The ERW incident – which resulted in one of the five deaths – took place on a plantation.

Five of the injured or killed were soldiers, and four were farmers. Eight reported having received some form of mine risk education.

Last year saw 243 land-mine and ERW casualties, down from 271 in 2008. Battambang remains the most mine-affected province, having recorded 79 total casualties between January 2009 and January 2010. The next most mine-affected province, Banteay Meanchey, saw 37 casualties during the same period.

As of early 2010, the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority has assumed control of CMVIS, taking over for the Cambodian Red Cross.

Also in January, 68 ERW and two land mines were reported to humanitarian deminers for clearance and destruction, according to the report.

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