A 70-year-old woman died while collecting firewood near a Burma Army compound in northern Shan State.
HSENWI TOWNSHIP—A 70-year-old woman died after stepping on a landmine near a Burmese military compound in northern Shan State’sHsenwiTownship last Saturday.
The victim, Nai Bu, was collecting firewood near the compound of Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion No. 567, about 30 miles southeast of the town of Hsenwi, when she stepped on a mine at about 8 a.m. on July 4.
“I heard Nai Bu’s screams when the mine exploded,” said Sai Aung, a resident of MongPonHuay village, where the victim also came from. “But I couldn’t immediately go and help her because I need permission from the authorities in order to enter that area.”
“She was seriously wounded and both of her legs were destroyed,” he added. Nai Bu was immediately taken to the Hsenwi hospital but she died en route.
According to Sai Lao, a youth activist in Hsenwi Township, local villagers frequently search the forest near the army base for foodsources to supplement their diets. But because of this incident, he explained that the villagers are now “living in fear” of stepping on landmines still concealed in the area.
“They [the Burma Army]didn’t inform the villagers about where the landmines are,” said Sai Lao. “They shouldn’t plant the landmines near the community, but if they did, they should have told the villagers.”
Local sources confirmed that Nai Bu has one son who is now working in Thailand, but he has not been able to be contacted about the incident.