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Isaan woman killed in landmine blast



PHOTO: Thairath

Police in Isaan’s Surin province announced today that a woman there was killed when she stepped on a landmine while foraging for mushrooms in the forest close the Cambodian border.

A duty officer at Buachet Police Station said 44 year old Sumilta Saleeme was killed by the blast yesterday morning. She was one of 9 people who went into the forest in the Charat subdistrict, but fortunately no one else was injured in the incident.

“This area was once a war zone and mines were laid. Authorities haven’t defused them all at the moment. If anyone wants to pick wild mushrooms, they should do it in forests near the cities, as they are safer.”

1 of the foragers says the victim went off the trail on her own, and later a loud explosion was heard. It was reportedly Sumilta’s first time foraging for mushrooms in the forest.

Police said they have yet to identify the type or make of the mine and have to wait for experts to inspect the scene. Police believe it was an anti-tank mine, given the size of the blast pit.

Millions of landmines were laid along the Thai/Cambodian border during the Cold War years. A survey conducted by the army’s Thailand Mine Action Center found as many as 4,000 people have been killed or injured by those landmines.

Chief of Defence Forces Pornpipat Benyasri has pledged to demine the whole country by 2023 to show the Thailand’s  commitment to the 1997 Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of anti-personnel mines.

SOURCE: Khaosod English


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  1. CM

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 1:19 am

    Although the mines were laid during the Cold War era, were they not laid in response to the Cambodian-Vietnamese war? (I know, I know, this article was actually written by Khaosodenglish)

  2. Toby Andrews

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Why are the mines still there. This is a scandal.
    I suspect the Thais are waiting for some western nation to clear theses mines for them.

  3. Fabian

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Usually a tank mine does not explode if a human steps on it and secondly what use a tank mine has in a forrest were tanks cannot move due to the dense vegetation.
    I haven’t seen the blast pit or the victim but if it was in deed a tank mine the amount of explosives to blast through an armored vehicle would have pulverized the victim into atoms.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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