“There are many mines in Lebanon,” Chief Warrant Officer Rath Mom told The Daily Star, under the shade of a khaki tent erected at a demining base in a remote area in Sector West of UNIFIL’s deployment zone on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
CWO Mom is an expert deminer and part of UNIFIL’s peacekeeping force in south Lebanon. Having gained skills in his homeland of Cambodia, which also suffers from serious land mines left from past conflicts, he now leads a team of 32 deminers meticulously sourcing and deactivating mines for the safety of not just his fellow troops but also for local civilians.
Last Thursday morning, the team of Cambodians had discovered five anti-personnel mines, contributing to a total of over 400 found since March, left over from the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon. There are believed to be thousands of unprotected land mines scattered across Lebanon, designed to disable the victim by blowing off a leg or foot.