Northern Shan State Sees Four Landmine Victims in October Alone

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The incidents occurred during one week, with explosive devices being discovered near a public road.

Photo from ရွှေဟင်္သာ
Photo from ရွှေဟင်္သာ

Four civilians have stepped on landmines in northern Shan State’s Namhsan Township this month, according to local sources.

The incidents occurred during a single week, from October 19 until October 25 in Mankan, Mangpan and Hokam villages.

“A Mangkan villager’s leg was cut off, but his life was not in danger,” a Namhsan monk, the Ven Ashin Ottama, told SHAN about one explosion.

Landmines have been discovered near a public road in the township which locals travel on to tend to their crops.

“There are more landmine victims this year. They step on landmines when they are going to their paddies or tea farms,” a local Namhsan man said.

Villagers have asked that armed groups and the military refrain from placing landmines in public areas.

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army—which is active in northern Shan State—released a statement on October 26 saying that the dangers for locals regarding landmines had increased, since the Burma Army is expected to intensify military operations following the end of the rainy season this month.

According to the TNLA statement, the Burma Army regularly uses landmines around their bases and in the areas which they patrol. However, government-run media has reported that ethnic armed groups are responsible for setting up landmines in conflict areas.

According to a 2017 report from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Burma still uses landmines, with the largest number of victims being in Shan State.

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