SSPP/SSA denies landmine accusation by Burmese military

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The Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) says it sent a letter to the Burmese military’s Eastern Central Command on Monday denying allegations that it planted the landmine that caused recent injuries to two civilians.

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According to a report by the state-owned Myawady Daily news journal on October 9, the SSPP/SSA stands accused of planting landmines near Mawmae village, tract 4 of Monghsu Township. Two villagers, named as Loong Ku and his niece, stepped on one and were injured by the resulting blast.

Reached for commented, Maj. Sao Ba Tun, secretary 3 of SSPP/SSA, said, “We never have an intention of attacking the people of Shan State. We never set out to injure civilians.

“Whenever there is an explosion, whether in a city or in rural areas, the Tatmadaw [Burmese armed forces] always accuses ethnic armed groups.”

The SSPP/SSA officer acknowledged that his group had signed state-level and union-level ceasefire accords, but did not sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government on October 15 last year. Nevertheless, he said, the SSPP/SSA was not responsible for this incident.

He went on to say that the SSPP/SSA believes in the peace process and supports it.

He noted that, apart from SSPP/SSA, Burmese military units and police are also active in Mongshu Township.

On October 7, Loong Ku, age 60, and his niece, Nang Jing, 9, went into their local forest to collect wild mushrooms. They stepped on a landmine near Nang Gaohant temple and it exploded. The pair are now being treated at a local hospital in Kholam sub-township.

On that same day, Burmese government troops launched an offensive against SSPP/SSA troops in Monghsu. No details were offered as to casualties on either side.

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