A soldier bled to death in Battambang province Thursday after driving over an old anti-tank mine in a tractor while clearing a parcel of land for a local cassava farmer, police said.
Long Sochet, a 34-year-old member of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Battalion 525 in Samlot district, took the job clearing the overgrown plot to make some extra money and ran over the mine at about 3 p.m., according to Sung commune police chief Hun Vath.
“The victim was plowing land that had never been farmed before,” Mr. Vath said, adding that the explosion blew off the soldier’s right arm and severely injured his legs, torso and lower face.
He said the soldier was rushed to the battalion’s headquarters in an RCAF ambulance, but that a medic at the base was unable to resuscitate him.
“The RCAF nurse could not save the victim because he was too seriously injured.”
Samlot district, in the country’s far west, was the site of intense fighting between Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese forces in the 1980s, and was heavily mined.
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance killed or injured 111 people last year, according to the Cambodian Mine Action Authority, down from 154 people in 2014.