11-Year-Old Loses Hand to UXO in Battambang

An 11-year-old boy lost a hand and took shrapnel to the face from an old rocket head he found in a field and tossed against a tree stump in Battambang province on Saturday.

“The land had been plowed and the rocket head appeared.

The boy picked it up and threw it against the tree stump and made it explode,” said Chreng Chamruen, the police chief of Chhnal Mann commune in Kors Kralor district, on Sunday.

May Sameth lost his right hand and might also lose the use of his left eye, he said.

The boy, who was tending the family’s cows with his grandfather at the time, was rushed to a military hospital in the provincial capital of Battambang City for treatment.

The police chief said the area was a battlefield in the wars following the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and that the rocket was a remnant of the fighting.

Cambodia remains littered with millions of old mines and unexploded ordnance from those times.

They killed or injured 83 people last year, most of them civilians.

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