Villagers Injured By Landmines In Southern Burma

By Network Media Group
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Two villagers sustained injuries after stepping on landmines on the same day in an area in southern Burma where there’s been hostilities between ethnic armed group organizations.

In the past, the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) have clashed over control of the lucrative timber industry.

Both groups denied responsibility for the landmines that were planted in between their territories.

A New Mon State Party (NMSP) officer, the political wing of the MNLA, told NMG the explosions in Yayphyu township, located in Taninthari region, happened about one hour apart.

“The first villager stepped on a landmine at around 8 am when he went to fix a pipe that provides water for Myauk Chaw (also Taw Lawi) and Kalah,” the officer said. “The other villager was injured at 9 am near a road on the way to his garden.”

Both men sustained injures to their legs and are receiving medical care at the Mawlamyine public hospital.

The NMSP and KNLA have camps near the area where the landmine explosion happened, said Nai Tin San, the village headman for Ahlae Sakhan. The Burma Army also patrols the area. Myauk Chaw is controlled by the NMSP, he said. Kalah is in KNLA territory.

There were at least eight landmine explosions near Nai Tin San’s village, which is located in Yayphyu township, from 2018-19. Some have been seriously injured by the explosions.

Most of the villagers are farmers and they’re afraid of stepping on a landmine when working in their fields.

Both the NMSP and KNLA have requested the government’s assistance to remove the landmines in Yayphyu township but nothing’s been done.

A villager on a motorcycle rode over on a landmine near Myauk Chaw on February 29.