At least one villager was killed and seven others injured when a device exploded in northern Shan State’s Namtu Township, according to local sources.
Photo by Kunhing- Landmine victims at the local hospital in Namtu Township.
Sai Kham, a Namtu resident, said the incident happened on Wednesday morning between the villages of Narpai and Nam Kun.
“There were five villagers from Nar Kun, three from Nar Keng, two from Kun Kyong, two from Penglong, and four others from Nar Kae,” Sai Kham explained. “One was pronounced dead at the scene and seven were injured.”
He added: “Of the seven injuries, three of them are serious. They were taken to a hospital in Lashio Township.” The others were reportedly taken to a local hospital in Namtu for treatment.
He added that a man named Sai Sarng Lu from Nar Kae village lost an eye, while Sai Maung Aye from Penglong village was wounded in the chest and throat.
The victims are now receiving assistance from a local youth organization and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy.
Shan Herald could not confirm the exact device that injured the men. The area is peppered with landmines after years of civil strife. However, according to one the seven wounded, the blast was caused by a string-pulled command-detonated mine, meaning that someone watching the men had activated the bomb by remote control.
According to a source, the victims were delivering food supplies to the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), some of whom also felt the effects of the blast.
The same source claimed that the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) was active in the area a few days earlier.
Namtu Township is an active conflict zone with units of RCSS/SSA, TNLA and the Burma Army constantly engaged in clashes in the area.
Shan Herald has contacted representatives of RCSS/SSA several times, but has not been able to elicit a response to date.
The RCSS/SSA is currently holding its bi-annual meeting at its headquarters in Loi Tai Leng, according to an official.
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