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Three Thais injured in multiple mine blasts

Three Thais injured in multiple mine blasts

LAND mine blasts have injured three Thai nationals accused of illegal logging along the disputed border area in Preah Vihear province, authorities said Sunday.

The explosions occurred last Wednesday when the three men stepped on separate land mines, said Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat.

In one incident, one man had part of his lower leg blown off, while the two others were also seriously injured, he said.

“We saved them from the dangerous place and sent them to their country for treatment,” Chhum Socheat said, adding that a chainsaw found with
the group was confiscated and destroyed.

Chhum Socheat said the land mines were old, having been planted during conflict some decades ago.

In 2008, two Thai soldiers were severely injured after stepping on land mines that Thai authorities said were freshly laid. However, Cambodia said the land mines were not newly planted. The situation remains unresolved.

Any new deployment of land mines would be a breach of the Ottawa Treaty banning the use of the deadly weapons, which Cambodia and Thailand have both ratified.

Over 2008 and 2009, Preah Vihear ranked fourth among provinces for total casualties of land mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), according to a report last month from the Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System.

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