Landmine Explosion Kills 1, Wounds 7 in Shan State

By Nang Seng Nom 8 July 2016

One person died and seven were injured when a landmine exploded on Wednesday in Namtu Township in northern Shan State, where several armed groups are active.

The landmine detonated while 17 villagers from Nar Seng village tract in Namtu Township were transporting food rations for the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S).

The SSA-S will provide care and arrangements for those who were injured and the one fatality, said Nang Kham Aye, Lower House parliamentarian from the same township.

She said that landmine injuries have increased in the region since 2015, and that raising awareness of landmines would help the locals and lower the number of incidents.

Namtu Township has been plagued with fighting, at times between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the SSA-S, and also between the TNLA and the Burma Army. The armed groups have placed landmines during the conflict, some of which kill or maim civilians before being cleared.

Over the first three months of 2016, 21 landmine causalities were documented in Shan State. According to Unicef and its partners in compiling data, 59 landmine incidents occurred in 2015, with 34 of the victims being children.

Burma has the third highest concentration of landmines in the world, after Afghanistan and Colombia.