Bomb Blast Injures Four as Clashes Continue in Shan State

By Lawi Weng 21 October 2015

RANGOON — Two Buddhist novices and a 12-year-old girl were among four people injured on Wednesday when a roadside bomb rocked Mong Hsu Township in central Shan State, according to a local source.

The three children and the fourth victim, a middle-aged woman, were hospitalized after the explosive device went off at just after 4 pm near a Shan literature and culture center and a Buddhist monastery, said Sai Mon, a resident of Mong Hsu town who said the victims’ conditions were not known.

“They all are in hospital for treatment. However, no one could get inside the hospital to see those wounded persons. They closed the door inside the hospital,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The novices are around 14 years old, while the injured woman is in her 50s, said Sai Mon, who is a social worker helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have fled recent fighting around the Wan Hai headquarters of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), which has accused the Burma Army of initiating an offensive against the ethnic armed group beginning Oct. 6.

“Whenever there is fighting in other areas, bombs always go off in our town,” Sai Mon said.

Tensions between the Burma Army and SSA-N remain high, with clashes continuing on Wednesday near the Wan Hai headquarters, which is located about 20 miles west of Mong Hsu town. More than 2,000 IDPs have fled the conflict, with most taking up refuge in the town.

The SSA-N and its political wing, the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), are among the ethnic armed groups that opted not to sign a so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government last week.

On Tuesday, state mouthpiece The Global New Light of Myanmar reported that government troops had clashed with the SSA-N a total of 37 times from Oct. 6-19.