On Saturday, three children under the age of 10 were tragically killed after they picked up a leftover shell that exploded in Namhsan Township in northern Shan State.
The spokesperson for the Ta’ang Women Organisation said two children were killed on the spot while the third child died before they could be taken to the hospital in the village of Zayan Gyi in Palaung (Ta’ang) Self-administered Zone. She mentioned that they haven’t yet identified which shell killed the children.
It is also unclear whether the State Administration Council (SAC) or the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, which are fighting in the township, was responsible for the leftover shell. However, on the same day the accident occurred, Ta’ang soldiers were in the area warning villagers not to touch or remove any unexploded shells or other bombs left by the SAC.
According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, Shan State experienced the highest number of civilian casualties from landmines and explosive devices between 2019 and 2022. One-fourth of all the deceased were children who sometimes pick up leftover munitions out of curiosity.
Several civil society groups have conducted bomb awareness training after the number of civilian casualties dramatically increased following the coup.