Burma

Monk Taken to Mandalay After Triggering Roadside Landmine in Myanmar's Northern Shan State

By Lawi Weng 16 October 2019

NORTHERN SHAN STATE – Two Buddhist monks have been treated at a hospital in Kyaukme and another was transferred to a hospital in Mandalay this morning after setting off a landmine at the weekend, according to sources.

“He was wounded in the chest, legs and on the hands. There was blood in his vomit the night he arrived at the Kyaukme hospital, so we transferred him to Mandalay,” Mai A Bam, a volunteer ambulance driver from the Om Ta Mao organization in Kyaukme, told The Irrawaddy.

The other two monks being treated in Kyaukme had minor injuries, he added.

The three monks were ethnic Shan and Ta’ang from Mandalay. They were visiting their villages having paid respect to senior monks in Namhsan Township during Buddhist lent on Oct. 13. They rode two motorbikes and reportedly hit a landmine in Mongngaw, Kyaukme in northern Shan State, on their way back.

“It was 7 p.m. and dark,” said Mai A Bam, who said the mine was attached to a small tripwire on the public road.

Landmines are common in Kyaukme Township amid the ongoing conflict between the Myanmar army and ethnic armed groups.

One resident was killed and another wounded when a mortar hit a tea garden in Kyaukme on Oct. 8.

Lway Ai Aww, a manager in Lashio for the Halo Trust—a UK-based charity that helps landmine victims in Kachin, Shan and Karen states—told The Irrawaddy that the group would visit the three monks Thursday to help them with their treatment.

From January to October this year, 12 people were killed by landmines, including five under-18s, according to the Lashio-based Shwe Phee Myay News Journal.

It said 24 people were also wounded.

Most of the reported blasts have been in Namtu, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, Lashio and Namhsan townships.

Both the Myanmar army and ethnic armed groups are known to use landmines, although all groups routinely deny responsibility when civilians are killed or wounded.

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