YANGON — Two men were killed in a landmine explosion Thursday night along a road in northern Rakhine State linking Rathedaung and Buthidaung townships, where the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA) have been fighting recently.
U Kyaw Min Tun, head of Buthidaung Township’s General Administrative Department, told The Irrawaddy that authorities visited the scene of the explosion Friday morning and were still trying to determine who the victims were and whether they were local residents. He said a second mine in the vicinity was disarmed by a bomb squad but declined to reveal whether the site was on land recently fought over by the military and AA.
Maung Maung Thein, a resident of Buthidaung’s Hpon Nyo Leik Village, said he heard a loud explosion at about 9 p.m. from the village, about a five-minute drive from where the mine exploded. He said the section of road was only recently laid and not lit at night.
Maung Maung Thein said he had viewed the bodies and that the victims were not from the surrounding villages.
“Their motorbike was blown to pieces and the two men were badly torn apart,” he said.
Also on Thursday night, the Office of the Commander in Chief announced that recent fighting between the military and AA in Rathedaung and Buthidaung townships near the border with Bangladesh had claimed the lives of soldiers on both sides, including some high-ranking military officers.