Three members of a family were killed and at least eight others were wounded Friday when an anti-tank mine exploded in Kompong Chhnang province, police said.
Tun Sopheap, 37, a chemist at Banteay Longvek military camp, his wife and their 2-year-old child were killed in the explosion, said Mov Sokhom, police chief of Kompong Tralach district. The family lived in the district’s Longvek commune.
“According to witnesses [Tun Sopheap] is a well-known unexploded ordnance dealer in the village,” the police chief said. “Gathering old ammunition is his business.”
The eight injured included three scavenger dealers and five villagers who were walking past when the mine was accidentally triggered beneath the family’s large house. The family’s house was destroyed by the blast, Mov Sokhom said. The couple had three other children who were fortunately not in the house at the time, he said.
“If all of them were at home, they would be dead,” he said.
Tun Sopheap died just one day after he received a promotion in his job at the military base.
“We are wondering if [Tun Sopheap] ever saw a Cambodian Mine Action Center spot on television or not,” Mov Sokhom said. “This is a very dangerous thing….People should not touch any unexploded ordnance.”