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Two dead in mine blast

Two dead in mine blast

TWO people were killed and six were injured when an excavator ran over a concealed anti-tank mine in Battambang province’s Sampov Loun district yesterday.

Long Chanra, the district police chief, said 27-year-old excavator Kok Ngov and Chea Cheat, 33, died in the blast. He said six others were also injured – four seriously – in the incident.

Heng Ratana, director of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, which is working to clear the province of mines planted during the civil war of the 1980s and 1990s, said people had been living in the area of yesterday’s accident for over 10 years.

“The people who lived there had no idea there was an anti-tank mine right on their doorstep,” he said.

According to the Cambodia Mine-UXO Victim Information System, 260 people were injured and killed by explosive remnants of war to November this year, compared with 217  for the whole of 2009.