A military border guard died at the Preah Vihear Provincial Referral Hospital after stepping on a landmine and suffering injuries to his right leg and body last week.

The incident took place in Choam Ksan district’s Sra Em commune.

Hospital director Sok Veasna said the officer, Mut Khuoch, a 26-year-old from Kampong Thom province, died upon arrival.

“His condition was extremely critical. He was very pale because he lost too much blood. Doctors attempted to insert a lot of blood but still could not save his life,” Veasna said.

Veasna said the hospital had delivered his body to his relatives in Kampong Thom for a traditional funeral.

Sra Em commune police chief Huy Sophon said the victim was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Border Police Battalion 385 at Phnom Ta Thao border in the commune.

He said Khouch was on patrol with 15 other soldiers when he stepped on the mine, which blew him 5m. The other soldiers immediately ran to cover his wound and took him to the hospital.

“I did not know if he died or not. I observed that his injuries were extremely critical. A lot of blood was flowing. There were many small scratches on his body. His right leg was destroyed entirely,” he said.

Battalion 385 Commander Sea Roeun could not be reached for comment.

Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana noted the incident in a Facebook post on November 11 and expressed despair about the dangers caused by mines.