Explosives Kill Two in Northern Shan

By Lawi Weng 12 November 2018

Mon State — Two people were killed and two more were wounded by a pair of explosives in northern Shan State on Sunday, according to relatives and media.

In Kyaukme Township, two ethnic Ta’ang women, aged 20 and 26, were heading from Khon Ngan Village to the center of town by motorbike to do some shopping when they hit an explosive at about 9:30 a.m., according to relatives. They said the younger woman, Lway Kham Yin, died from her injuries at a Mandalay hospital that evening and that the other was wounded by survived.

“She was seriously wounded in her head, so a doctor told us they could not save her,” said Nang Mya Htwe, Lway Kham Yin’s aunt.

A funeral for Lway Kham Yin was held Monday at a Buddhist monastery, but some of her relatives stayed away for fear that there may be more explosives along local roads.

Several armed groups operate in the area, including the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and periodically clash with each other or the Myanmar military. The RCSS currently has fighters posted in Khon Ngan Village while the rival TNLA has recently taken up a position on a nearby mountain.

Separately, in Muse Township, a 13-year-old ethnic Mong Wong boy was killed instantly when an improvised explosive he and his friend were playing with on Sunday went off, according to Radio Free Asia. The report said the boy who survived was treated at a local hospital.

Such explosions are common in northern Shan State. The military and armed groups blame each other for planting the explosives, but determining who actually set any given device is difficult.

Landmines wounded seven people in the area last month. They killed three and wounded another seven in September.

According to Halo Trust, a UK-based non-governmental organization, there were 119 landmine explosions in Myanmar last year, killing 52 people and injuring 124. Of the 119 explosions, 45 occurred in Shan State.

This year, from January through May, there have already been 127 landmine explosions, which have killed 23 people and injured 136. Forty-nine of the explosions were in Shan.