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Two killed in separate UXO blasts

A 12-year-old boy and a 37-year-old farmer lost their lives over the weekend in UXO explosions in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

A 1970s anti-tank mine exploded on Friday morning, when two men drove a mini-tractor over the explosive, which lay just 20cm to 30cm beneath a new road in Battambang’s Rattanak Mondul district.

The blast, which saw the vehicle flung 10 metres into the air, killed one man, identified by the police as Chert Chum, 37. The other, Suon Piset, 22, was sent to the provincial referral hospital.

On Saturday, Prom Pov, 12, from Pailin’s Salakrov district, was killed when a rusty 60mm artillery shell he was playing with exploded. Seventeen-year-old Rat Da, who was standing some 20 metres away, was seriously injured in the blast, Stung Trang commune police chief Ry Dara said.

“That place is an old military base, and we do not know how many unexploded ordnances still lay there,” he said.

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