Fatal Landmine Blast Occurs Near NMSP Headquarters

Friday, March 20, 2020

A landmine explosion near the headquarters of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has killed one person and injured another in the Ye Chaung Phyar area this week.

NMSP official Nai Khin Aye said that the landmine went off on a road on the evening of March 18, while two villagers from the community of Kamee were walking to a nearby area to go hunting.

Villager Nai Ah Lawt was killed at the scene of the blast, and another villager is receiving medical treatment for his injuries at Ye public hospital.

“They stepped on a landmine on the vehicle road. NMSP’s members usually use this vehicle road. The landmine exploded in our area of movement,” Nai Khin Aye, NMSP’s secretary for Dawei District, told NMG.

At least three landmines went off in Yephyu Township in Dawei February and March. Victims of the explosions lost their legs.

“Whoever did it, we strongly condemn this action. We urge them not to carry out these unacceptable acts,” Dr. Aung Naing Oo, the deputy speaker of the Mon State parliament, told NMG, adding that a solution must be sought for the problems posed by these landmines.

At least eight landmines have gone off in the area of Ah Lae Sakhan village in Yephyu Township over the last two years, posing a great threat to civilians, who make their living farming.

No organization has taken responsibility for landmine blasts in the area, and it remains unknown which group planted them.

NMSP released a statement on March 16, stating that along with the Karen National Union (KNU), they want to create a safe environment for locals to tend to their farms. They have also asked for government help in removing the landmines in Yephyu.

The KNU and NMSP have had territorial disputes in the area in the past, with the NMSP accusing the KNU of operating illegal timber production in the area.

A NMSP officer told NMG that they are currently trying to meet with Karen leaders to develop a strategy to cope with the landmine issue that is affecting both Mon and Karen communities.