Farmer Killed by Old Anti-Tank Mine in Battambang

A cassava farmer bled to death in Battambang province on Thursday after driving his tractor over an old anti-tank mine while plowing his field, police said on Friday.

Chen Komsan, 41, had been cultivating the same plot of land in Ratanak Mondol district for seven or eight years without encountering unexploded ordnance (UXO), according to district police chief Khum Soy.

While tilling his field at about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, he drove his blue Ford tractor over a buried anti-tank mine, triggering a powerful explosion and suffering major injuries to his right leg, Mr. Soy said.

“Neighbors sent the victim to the hospital, but the victim died on the way,” he said. Chen Komsan had been married with several children.

As for the mine, Mr. Soy said it was likely left over from fighting between the Khmer Rouge and government forces in the 1980s.

“This area was a hotspot of fighting. There is still more UXO and mines under the ground that we do not know about,” he said.

More than 50 people were killed or injured by old ordnance in the first half of this year, according to Heng Ratana, ­director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, compared to 111 people in 2015 and 154 the year before.

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