Villager Killed by UXO Blast on Former Military Base

A farmer was killed when he triggered an anti-personnel mine while searching for firewood on a former military base in Pursat province’s Phnom Kravanh district on Sunday, an official said.

District police chief Vong Sareth said Chea Heng, 58, died immediately when the Soviet-made landmine exploded after he stepped on it.

“That area is a former military base from the civil war where there are many buried UXO [unexploded ordnance],” he said. “But this is the first time one of my villagers has died from an explosion.”

Chea Heng traveled to the heavily wooded area about 10 km from his house with his two children, but told them to wait as he searched deeper into the forest, Mr. Sareth said.

“The children heard an explosion at about 2:15 p.m. but only went to search for their father with their mother later that night, and they saw the body,” he said.

Police arrived at the site early on Monday morning and, after determining the cause of death, handed Chea Heng’s body over to his family for cremation, Mr. Sareth added.

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