Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Landmines Pose Hidden Dangers For Civilians In Shan State

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Two men from Kyaukme were injured on Tuesday after accidentally stepping on a concealed landmine where several ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) are fighting over territory in northern Shan State.

March 1 Kyautme youth step landmine
March 1 Kyautme youth stepping on landmine

Lway Ohmma of the Kyaukme Red Cross told SHAN that 20-year-old Nai Naing ( Lahu) , was taken to Mandalay for treatment but died on the way. Sai Awng Mueng, 22, who was behind his friend during the blast, is being treated in Lashio.

The young men detonated the hidden bomb while fishing near Takper Kham between Buhkar and Ner Hkaw near the Union Highway, between Lashio and Mandalay.

Last January, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) clashed with Northern Alliance members Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) near the villages.

In Lawksawk Township, a man was injured when he drove his motorbike over a landmine near a bridge. Zaw Zaw Oo, who leads a volunteer team in Nawng Woe, which is near the accident, said the 41-year-old from Hsipaw suffered serious injuries to his left leg. The victim, who works as a vendor, often travelled to the area from Hsipaw, about three hours away.

“The area is closed because of clashes. The locals told him not to drive on that road, but he did it anyway,” a youth from another volunteer team in nearby Nam Lan, who wishes to remain anonymous, told SHAN. RCSS and SSPP were fighting near the spot where the landmine was placed early last month.

EAOs shouldn’t place landmines on roads used by civilians, said another youth who also wishes to remain anonymous. The youth wants the groups to remove the mines they’ve already laid.

Two women who stepped on a landmine near Nawng Woe on 12 February are still in hospital.

Two civilians displaced by fighting accidentally stepped on a landmine while returning to their house in Kyin Thi village tract where the RCSS was clashing with the SSPP and TNLA in Hsipaw Township last January.

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