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UXO blast injures soldier in Preah Vihear

A soldier recovers on a bed after standing on a landmine in Preah Vihear province on Saturday. Photo supplied
A soldier recovers on a bed after standing on a landmine in Preah Vihear province on Saturday. Photo supplied

UXO blast injures soldier in Preah Vihear

A soldier in Preah Vihear lost his right leg on Saturday after stepping on a landmine near the Thai border in Choam Ksan district, officials said yesterday.

Toeun Rakorn, 25, a member of Brigade 8 stationed at Preah Vihear temple, stepped on the mine while on border patrol, according to his commander, Om Sam Ol.

Sam Ol said the mine had a powerful blast but little shrapnel, and was likely manufactured in Russia or China.

“It’s an old mine . . . We normally walk on patrol a few times per day, [but] it had rained hard and he detonated it,” Sam Ol said. Heavy rains have been blamed for shifting the soil around long-buried mines, making them easier to trigger.

Sam Ol noted that soldiers occasionally found mines when digging trenches in the area, which had been the scene of fighting between government forces and the Khmer Rouge.

Choam Ksan Deputy District Governor Yuth Loeng said Khmer Rouge commander Ta Mok had controlled part of the area, and had engaged in fighting nearby.

He said the victim, Rakorn, had been admitted to the provincial hospital, where his right leg was amputated below the knee.

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