Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UXO injuries, deaths on the rise

UXO injuries, deaths on the rise

Cambodian deminers prepare some of several hundred artillery shells and unexploded ordinance (UXO) for demolition near Siem Reap
Cambodian deminers prepare some of several hundred artillery shells and unexploded ordinance (UXO) for demolition near Siem Reap. AFP

UXO injuries, deaths on the rise

Forty people were injured or killed by landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the first two months of 2014, a figure nearly twice as high as that recorded in the same period last year, a recent report from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre shows.

In its report, CMAC recorded six deaths and 34 injuries in January and February this year, a 90 per cent increase in casualties from the first two months of 2013, which saw two people killed and 19 injured.

Heng Ratana, director-general of CMAC, ascribed the increase in casualties to recent explosions each involving multiple victims, noting that the number of actual explosions in the two-month period remained roughly the same. According to Ratana, incidents mostly – and increasingly – injured children.

“They collect the explosives and play with them,” he said.

Last month, two children were injured along with their aunt when they stepped on
a landmine in Banteay Mean-chey province, near the Thai border. In February, three children were killed when they tampered with an unexploded 60-millimetre rocket that they found near their village in Kampong Chhnang province while herding cattle.

Cambodia’s UXO was left behind after decades of war, and the Kingdom’s northwestern provinces – such as Battambang, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey and Preah Vihear – remain the country’s most dangerous areas for UXO, according to the Cambodia Mine Victims Information System.

UXO claimed the lives of 22 people in 2013, down from 43 in 2012.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • Hun Sen lays out party’s platform

    Caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday credited liberating Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge as among the reasons why people will vote for his ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) in the July 29 national elections. Hun Sen, who has held the reins of power in Cambodia