Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UXO casualties drop

UXO casualties drop

UXO casualties drop

3 UXO

The number of casualties from landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) accidents in the first four months of this year has decreased dramatically – plunging by 48 per cent compared with last year, a report released yesterday by the Cambodia Mine/UXO Victim Information System (CMVIS) says.

Out of the 44 casualties recorded from January to April this year, four people were killed, while the rest were maimed or injured. In the same period last year, there were 85 casualties, the report found.

That said, the overall number of accidents or incidents recorded remained fairly steady at 35 – one more than last year.

Director-general of the Cambodia Mine Action Centre Heng Ratana said the decrease was likely due to the fact that individual accidents this year involved smaller groups of people.

“Last year, there were a few incidents where big groups of people, about 10 to 15 people were travelling together and ran over anti-tank mines,” Ratana said. “We are very lucky that this has not happened this year.”

In a single incident last February, a pair of anti-tank mines killed eight and injured one in Banteay Meanchey when a tractor ferrying villagers strayed from mine-free roads and ran over the buried explosives en route to a cassava farm.

Ratana added that while the improvement was remarkable, such incidents could repeat themselves and that continued community awareness was needed.

“People need to pay more attention and be careful when using land in mine-contaminated areas,” he said.

According to the CMVIS report, some 19,666 Cambodians have been killed by landmines and UXO since 1979.

It is estimated that four to six million landmines and UXO were left over after decades of war and strife. Of that amount, about three million have been destroyed so far, but Ratana added that sustained financial support had to continue for demining efforts to be completed by 2020.

MOST VIEWED

  • Twenty years after Pol Pot died a broken man, his memory looms large

    Two decades have passed, but Mea Chron still stands by Pol Pot. Most days he also stands by the mass murderer’s cremation site, keeping guard in the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold of Anlong Veng. Pol Pot, the widely reviled despot who spearheaded the

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • ‘Trouble’ foreseen in Khmer New Year almanac

    At 9:12am on Saturday, Cambodia’s devout can expect the arrival of Moha Thorathevey, an angel on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel, who has a liking for water hyacinths, will usher in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the