Villagers Killed By Landmine

Villagers Killed By Landmine

Three men have been killed after stepping on a landmine while picking djenkol beans in a frontline village located between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burma Army in Kachin State.

Pastor Tuu Lwan from Sar Hmaw said it is unclear which group placed the mine that killed the men that were also from the same village in Mogaung Township. Both groups have issued warnings not to enter the nearby Sut Len Yang Village which has been designated as restricted since last year.

“It’s situated between the two armies so we don’t know who set it (landmine). The Burma Army has said that it will fire at anyone who enters that area. The KIA also said no one should enter this area. Both armies are camped there.”

According to unconfirmed reports, the names of the deceased men are Maung Chan Aye, age 22; Aung Min Wai, 20; and Maung Kyar Aung, 27. It is unsure whether or not they were Bamar or Shanni (Red Shan).

The deceased men’s families and some villagers from Sar Hmaw Village have staged a protest accusing the KIA of planting the landmines and restricting the mobility of residents from accessing their farms, said village elder U Than Soe.

The Burma Army has encouraged some Shanni communities to form militias. Currently, in Hpakant and Tanai Townships Shanni militias are fighting with the Burma Army against the KIA.