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Soldier wounded by mine while on patrol in Preah Vihear

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A soldier was seriously injured by a mine detonating in Preah Vihear province on Monday. CMAA

Soldier wounded by mine while on patrol in Preah Vihear

A member of the armed forces is recovering at the Preah Vihear Provincial Referral Hospital after suffering serious injuries in a landmine explosion in Chheu Teal Kong village of Choam Ksan district and commune on March 21.

District deputy governor Linh Yut identified the victim as Tith Hay, an officer from platoon unit II of the Choam Ksan military sub-region who manned the Nong Tim checkpoint. The explosion had torn through his left leg.

“The mine was very near to a road that he walked up and down every day. After the recent heavy rain, he left the road to check a canal where he had stored water and stepped on the mine. The mine had been planted near the border,” he said.

Yut said district authorities had always spread the word about the dangers of mines to the people of local villages, communes and schools. The authorities were aware that parts of Choam Ksan district, especially the border areas, still had some mines that were planted during the war.

Authorities completed a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers posed by unexploded ordnance in early February. As a result, local people have learned more of the dangers and would report their discovery of landmines to the authorities.

Commune police chief Tun Tin said the accident happened at around 4am on March 21 along the Cambodian-Thai border on the Dangrek Mountain.

“Landmines still exist in that area. It is heavily forested and not been totally cleared. Innocent people step on landmines almost every day there,” he said.

In a Facebook post along with a photo of the injured soldier on March 22, the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority urged people not to enter an area if they do not know the history of the place. It advised them to check with local authorities if they are unsure if a place is safe.

“If you see a landmine or other unexploded remnant of war, please do not touch it. Report it immediately to the authorities, who will contact demining operators that will remove and dispose of it,” it said.

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