Cambodian Mines: Modern-Day Victims of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Above Photo: Mines in Cambodia (© maginternational.org)
Although I write a lot about the danger of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos, especially in connection with the plot of my backpacker novel, BACK, the ever-present danger of UXO in Cambodia was brought home to me when I read a report about a Cambodian mine clearance worker who was killed, and two other deminers critically injured, when an anti-tank mine exploded in the country’s southwest.
The explosion took place when the three deminers were removing the mine from a field in Koh Kong province, which borders Thailand.
A police spokesman said the mine was left over from the country’s civil war in a site that was a heavy battle field between government forces and rebel Khmer Rouge in the 1980s. An estimated 4 million to 6 million land mines and other unexploded ordnance still remain in Cambodia from more than three decades of armed conflict.
Many of these mines also killed and maimed Cambodians when the Khmer Rouge fell in 1979, as they fled to refugee camps in Thailand, because the Khmer Rouge had mined the borders.
A couple of years ago a similar anti-tank mine blew up a truck carrying fourteen people, killing them all, in Battambang Province.
More than 63,000 people have been killed or injured in Cambodia by unexploded ordnance since the fall of the Khmer Rouge government in 1979.
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War, POWs/MIAs and Adventure Backpackers trekking into the war-ravaged jungles of Asia, see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
For POWS left behind in Laos see:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2
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