Villagers can’t collect the body of a civilian who stepped on a landmine a few days ago for fear of detonating more hidden explosives.
”The body is already decomposed and many flies are around it,” a local source told SHAN asking that his name not be published. Villagers discovered the body in a paddy field near Loi Hseng village in Mong Kung Township on 5 January.
Another man who requested anonymity believes the deceased is his relative Sai Kyar, 45, who has been missing since he left an internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in Yar Taw on 3 January to his home in Loi Hseng, from which he had fled fighting between rival Shan armed groups in southern Shan State.
Three people are in hospital with injuries sustained when a landmine exploded in the township on 4 January. Last November, a 17-year-old buffalo herder died after stepping on a hidden landmine.
More than 2,000 villagers displaced by the fighting between the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) have taken refuge in Mong Kung town, where they are in need of emergency assistance.
Meanwhile, villagers from Tat Mauk, Ho Loum and Nam Lay in neighbouring Laikha Township have taken their food to the town of the same name as fighting between the RCSS and the SSPP has increased in Mong Kung Township.
”Their villages are very close to the fighting…they fear it could spill over into Laikha,” a man who did not want to give his name told SHAN. Some of those affected by the clashes in Mong Kung and Kehsi townships have fled to Laikha Township. Residents and IDPs in Mong Kung town are also worried that the violence, which is taking place just 15 miles away, will reach them too.