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Former King Makes Plea for Countries to Join Mine Ban

Former king Norodom Sihanouk issued an open letter Monday, calling on countries who have not adopted landmine bans to do so, to "completely eradicate this terrible scourge from our world."

"Many countries and their respective peoples have suffered much because of these weapons," the aging Sihanouk wrote in an open statement.

Lt. Gen. Khem Sophoan, director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Committee, said Cambodia was among 100 countries that had signed the Ottawa Treaty on landmines.

"Countries that have not joined the treaty are mostly superpowers involved in producing landmines," he said.

About 292 Cambodians have been killed by landmines this year, down from 450 in the same period of 2006.