One villager was killed and two more were seriously injured while rice farming on Monday when their tractor rolled over a land mine in Battambang’s Bavel district.
According to Oeum Tith, Bavel district police chief, the victims were returning from farming when the mine exploded, leaving the three badly injured and the tractor destroyed.
Tith said that 32-year-old Khim Seiha died en route to a nearby private hospital. Tith identified the two injured victims as tractor owner Doung Tim Dara, 49, and farmer Ve Saroum, 27.
Pring Panharith, an officer with the Cambodia Mine Action Centre’s (CMAC) provincial bureau, said that in Battambang province there are many undetonated landmines, which are mainly located in Bavel, Banan and Samlot districts.
“We have cleared many landmines here and make the cleared lands available for use, but still there are deeply buried landmines,” he said.
According to a September report from the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, Battambang has accounted for the highest portion of the Kingdom’s landmine casualties since January 2014, at nearly 27 per cent.
Nevertheless, in Battambang – and nationally – the number of landmine casualties is significantly lower so far this year compared to 2014. Battambang suffered 39 casualties through September 2014, but just 24 in the same period this year.