Bomb Blast Wounds German Tourists and Guide in Northern Burma’s Shan State

By Lawi Weng 26 April 2016

A bomb blast wounded two tourists and a Burmese guide near the northern town of Kyaukme in Shan State at around 2:00 pm today, according to a local police officer.

Win Khaing, a police officer in Kyaukme Township, told The Irrawaddy that two men and one woman were wounded in the blast and as of press time were en route to a hospital, taken by a local community volunteer organization.

The tourists are a man and woman from Germany, according to Win Khaing.

The blast hit the tourists and their guide 20 miles north of Kyaukme, said Col. San Lwin, head of the Taunggyi Police Station.

“We heard about the blast and the wounded, but we are still investigating how the tourists got into the area and what they were doing there,” Col. San Lwin said, noting that the area is known for having armed rebels and is considered unsafe for traveling.

The area has frequently been the site of conflicts between the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), an ethnic armed group.

The visitors had been staying in Hsipaw, a tourist town in Shan State 30 miles from Kyaukme, according to La Wun Aung, a local tour guide.

Skirmishes have become frequent in recent weeks, as forces from the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South (RCSS/SSA-S), an ethnic armed group, and the Burma Army have been accused of launching strikes against the TNLA. Hundreds of ethnic Shan and Palaung (Ta’ang) locals have been displaced by the fighting.