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Bugs Bunny to warn about land mines

The State Department selected Bugs Bunny because "the rabbit is considered a kind and intelligent creature in Cambodian culture."

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will be used in public service messages educating Cambodians about land mines, the State Department said Wednesday.

The State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and the U.S. Agency for International Development are developing the messages, which will be delivered in Khmer, the country's official language.

The topics will be "mine risk education" and "social reintegration" for land mine accident survivors. The ads feature "Rith," a Cambodian land mine survivor, created by Warner Bros. for the project.

Cambodian Ambassador to the United States Roland Eng and others were consulted.

The State Department said Bugs Bunny was chosen because "the rabbit is considered a kind and intelligent creature in Cambodian culture."

Land mines are planted throughout the war-wracked Southeast Asian nation, which experienced conflict during the Vietnam War and widespread civil warfare.

Land mines in Cambodia kill or injure at a rate of more than two people each day, according to the most recent numbers reported by the Cambodian Red Cross. In 2001, 173 people were killed and 640 were injured.

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