Casualties from land mines and unexploded ordnance in September dropped by more than half from the same month last year, according to a report by the Cambodia Mine Incident Database Project.
Only 41 casualties were reported in September, compared to the 90 casualties reported in September 1998. The total number of casualties recorded in 1999 to date has also dropped—1,306 were reported between January and September last year while 819 have been reported this year.
Most of this year’s 214 casualties have been reported in Battambang province, and tampering with explosive devices remains the leading cause of these, according to the report.
A possible reason for the decline could be the lack of fighting in the country and the relatively small number of people moving from place to place, according to one Cambodian Mine Action Center official.
, though the report did note an increase in farming-related casualties during the first six months of this year due to the large number of refugees returning from Thailand.