Dawei’s Yephyu Township Sees Fourth Landmine Case in Two Months

Villagers wait to see if the man’s legs need to be amputated.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

A 33-year-old villager sustained serious injuries to his legs after stepping on a landmine in his own garden in Tanintharyi’s Yephyu Township on Thursday.

The village headman of Ahlae Sakhan, Nai San Tin, told NMG that Nai Kon Baline’s accident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. and that he was transferred to Mawlamyine hospital.

“We will know more about the condition of his legs after he is checked in Mawlamyine hospital. We will know whether his legs must be amputated or not after the medical check up,” Nai San Tin said, adding that Nai Kon Baline complained of unclear vision after the incident.

Since October, there have been four landmine explosions in the gardens of Ahlae Sakhan village, which are located about four miles from the residences and are known for areca palms and durian trees.

A member of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) stepped on a landmine on October 15 while on patrol in Yephyu and subsequently lost his foot. A villager from Hangan lost his right foot after stepping on a landmine on October 28 while headed to his areca palm garden. Another man from Hangan escaped injury when a landmine exploded while he was traveling by motorbike near Ahlae Sakhan on November 10. His motorbike was reportedly damaged.

Headman Nai San Tin said that he already reported the landmine explosions to the authorities but the problem remains unsolved.

The area was once patrolled by NMSP and Karen National Union (KNU) forces, as well as by the Burma Army.

NMSP said that they have not used landmines since the organization signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1995, and said that the devices were not planted by them.

NMSP’s Battalion No. 2 in Dawei District and the KNU’s Battalion No. 10 under Brigade 4 have disputed territory in Yephyu Township in Dawei, Tanintharyi. The KNU and NMSP have clashed at least six times in the region in 2016 and 2017.