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Unexploded mines found

Unexploded mines found

Seven unexploded landmines were discovered last week by construction workers building a highway through Banteay Meanchey province, police said yesterday.

The mines, which include an anti-tank mine and six Russian-made devices, were found buried in Thma Puok district, Banteay Chhmar commune, after heavy rains helped expose them.

Chort Yay, Thma Puok district police chief, said that the construction workers alerted police to the deadly find. Police are keeping the mines at the local station until experts arrive to deactivate and destroy them.

“[The mines] will be given to CMAC to be destroyed, while at the moment they have been impounded at the police station,” he said, referring to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre.

Chan Darom, CMAC’s chief of operations in Banteay Meanchey province, said that he had not yet been informed about the mines by the police.

The devices found last week were in good condition, having been wrapped in plastic and buried trigger-down at sufficient depth so heavy trucks would not cause them to explode, according to police.

Officials from CMAC and from other demining agencies and NGOs such as United Kingdom-based mine removal organisation Halo Trust, have found many types of unexploded ordnance in the area, Chort Yay added.

Last month, CMAC reported that deaths from landmines in the first seven months of 2013 dropped by 36 per cent, down to 74 from 115 landmine casualties in the same period last year.

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