A Khmer Rouge-era mine blew off the foot of a border police officer near the Thai border in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district as he patrolled near his base yesterday morning, according to provincial border police.
Sum Saroeun, chief of Border Police Battalion 905, said Eang Sodon, 36, stepped on the K58 mine while patrolling with four colleagues and five soldiers. He added that the incident took place in a former Khmer Rouge stronghold.
“It happened around 8am, and his right foot was blown off while he was patrolling between border posts 9 and 10. The other police officers and soldiers were not injured,” Saroeun said, adding that this was the first time in a decade that a police officer there had triggered a landmine.
“We feel sorry for him and regret that it happened. But because it is the border protection forces’ duty and obligation, we must patrol regularly,” he continued.
Sodon has been receiving treatment at a Thai hospital, Saroeun said.
Last week, police in Battambang uncovered a smorgasbord of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Sangke district, while in Pursat’s Veal Veng district, a man had his right leg blown off by a landmine while gathering herbs in a forest.
The incidents came as the US pledged $1.9 million to tackle the scourge of UXO in Cambodia, with the Japanese government recently chipping in $833,000.