Landmine casualties in Cambodia down 32 pct in first half of 2021: report

FILE: A Cambodian deminer from the Cambodia Self Help Demining (CSHD) probes for mines after being detected with metal detectors in the field at the Training and Mine Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Center (TMCC) in Oudong on November 27, 2011 (AFP)

PHNOM PENH-- Cambodia reported 26 landmine and explosive remnant of war (ERW) casualties in the first half of 2021, down 32 percent compared with 38 over the same period last year, said a report released on Sunday.

During the January-June period this year, eight people were killed and 18 others were either injured or limps amputated, said the report issued by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authorities (CMAA).

They included 23 men, one woman, and two children, the report added.

Regional and internal conflicts from the 1960s to late 1998 had left Cambodia as one of the most mine and ERW affected countries in the world. An estimated 4 to 6 million landmines and other munitions were left over from the almost three decades of conflicts.

 According to the report, from 1979 to June 2021, landmine and ERW explosions had claimed 19,805 lives and either injured or amputated 45,141 others.

As of June this year, the Southeast Asian nation had cleared 2,221 square km of contaminated land, destroying some 1.1 million landmines, 25,603 anti-tank mines and 2.9 million ERWs, the CMAA said, adding that more than 3.3 million households totaling 7.19 million people have benefited from the cleared land.

CMAA's First Vice President Ly Thuch has said the kingdom is committed to clearing all types of landmines and ERWs by 2025 and to achieve this, the country needs a total budget of 377 million U.S. dollars. 

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