A series of landmines exploded in Namhsan Township in northern Shan State this week, causing both casualties and injuries.
“Landmines exploded at three different locations on December 14. We have heard information about landmine explosions and landmine injuries almost everyday in our area,” Kyar Ti, who lives in Namhsan, told SHAN.
Kyar Ti said that Hla Aung, 37, stepped on a landmine that day near Zayan Mang Mai village at around 9:00 a.m. He is in critical condition, and has been transferred to the Lashio public hospital to treat shrapnel injuries to his ribs and forearms.
Another of the December 14 incidents involved 42-year-old Aye Ngwe, who stepped on a landmine in Kaitai village as she was going to her tea farm. She endured serious wounds to her legs, and according to a member of a local outreach group, she needed to undergo an amputation.
“One of her legs was cut off. She is a mother of three children, so she will have many difficulties. Currently, she doesn’t have enough money for her medical costs,” Ah Ban, who works with the Ohm Ta Mao social team in Kyaukme, told SHAN.
Ah Ban also said that 43-year-old Tun Tin of Loi Pyet village was killed after stepping on a landmine on December 12. He is one of two people killed in the last week—four were injured.
The Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army have had frequent clashes in Namhsan Township in recent months.
“We are innocent victims of the clashes. I don’t want to accuse either the Tatmadaw or the EAOs [ethnic armed organizations], but if they want to plant landmines for security reasons, they must remove all those landmines,” Namhsan local Kyar Ti told SHAN.
Civil society organizations in northern Shan State have called for removal of landmines in the region as soon as possible.