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Action star Jackie Chan returns to Cambodia to learn more about land mine problems
Updated: 2005-04-20 20:45

Hong Kong action film star Jackie Chan said Wednesday he's campaigning for a global ban on land mines -- and is scouting film sites in Cambodia to make a movie about the effort.

Chan, a United Nations goodwill ambassador, arrived by plane in Battambang, a provincial town located 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.

Recovering from decades of civil war, Cambodia remains one of the most heavily mined places in the world.

``I want to make a film to promote (the campaign) to stop land mines,'' Chan told reporters in Battambang. ``I have to stop them. No more land mines. They are hurting so many children.''

He said Wednesday a script writer and an assistant director joined him on the trip to study film locations.

Chan will tour former battlefields, meet recovering land mine victims at a Battambang hospital and visit a land mine education project in nearby Pailin -- a former stronghold of the late 1970s genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, said Mark Thomas, a spokesman for the UN children's agency, UNICEF.

Chan also will watch de-miners clear the deadly explosives and will detonate unexploded ordnance.

During a 2004 visit to promote awareness about HIV/AIDS issues for UNICEF, Chan was introduced to demining activities in Siem Reap province, Cambodia's main tourist destination, and met with children who became amputees because of land mines.

Chan later said the visit caused him to dream about digging land mines for a week.

``He was very moved by what happened to them and wanted to come back,'' Thomas said.

Areas around Battambang and Pailin were sites of heavy fighting during the civil war, which ended with the Khmer Rouge collapse in 1999. Farmland there is still sown with land mines left over from the war.

Nearly 4,200 Cambodians were killed or injured by land mines and unexploded ordnance between 2000 and 2004, with 25 percent of the victims under the age of 18, UNICEF said.

Chan has starred in Hollywood hits such as ``Rush Hour,'' ``Rumble in the Bronx'' and ``Shanghai Noon.''

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