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Five militia members killed in accidental mine explosion

A hand-made mine exploded as it was being planted, killing five members of the Wetlet Township People’s Defense Force (PDF) in Sagaing region, according to a militia member who declined to be named for security reasons,

The PDF member said the blast happened on Thursday beside the Mandalay-Shwe Bo road. They were planning to use it against junta troops traveling along the road.

“Six people planted the mine but five of them died and one was injured,” he said. “We cremated them yesterday. We are giving medical treatment to the one who is injured.”

The PDF member added that his group relies on hand-made mines due to a lack of weaponry.

The names and ages of the five dead men are not yet known.

RFA has not been able to confirm the incident, and the military council has not released any statement on it.

A lack of weapons is slowing the efforts of PDFs in Sagaing region to fight back against junta forces by using mine attacks and ambushes.

General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the Military Council, said in a speech on Monday that a total of 3,483 civilians, including monks, government employees and administrative officials have been killed by PDFs during the 18 months since the military coup.

Data from the Thai-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) show that, as of Thursday, 2,157 anti-coup democracy activists and civilians had been killed and 11,894 people arrested by the police and the military forces.