Villager loses leg in landmine explosion

SI SA KET: A villager lost his right leg in a landmine explosion on the border with Cambodia in Kantharalak district on Sunday while foraging for mushrooms, a military source said.

The incident occurred at about 10am while Thanat Khamphidchu, 25, from Moo 5 village in tambon Khanun, and his relatives were picking mushrooms in a forest near the Thai-Cambodian border in tambon Sao Thong Chai.

Mr Thanat accidentally stepped on a landmine, and the blast severed the lower part of his right leg. 

Soldiers from the 12th Infantry Battalion of the Suranaree Force and rangers from the 23rd Ranger Regiment rushed to the spot on hearing the loud explosion. 

They performed first aid treatment on Mr Thanat to stop the bleeding before taking him to Kantharalak Hospital in an ambulance.

People living along the Thai-Cambodian border, particularly in an area near the Khao Phra Viharn ruins, have been warned by authorities to be extremely careful to avoid landmines missed by earlier mine-clearing operations. Warning signs have been erected in areas where previous explosions have taken place.

The areas bordering Thailand and Cambodia were battlefields between warring Khmer factions in the 1990s, when thousands of landmines were planted.




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