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January sees 23 landmine injuries in Myanmar

Landmines have killed one and injured 22 others across Myanmar’s north in January alone, locals told Radio Free Asia Thursday. 

One woman is dead and most of the injured have lost limbs during the explosions in northern Shan state, social aid organizations said. 

A 36-year-old man from Namtu township’s Hko Hpeik village was sent to Lashio Hospital after being hit by a landmine on Tuesday. He was struck while cutting bamboo, said neighbors and residents who transported him to the hospital. 

“He went to cut bamboo in the north of the village. One of his legs was amputated and he was sent to Lashio,” he told RFA on Thursday, asking to remain anonymous to protect his identity.

On Monday, a 29-year-old man had his leg amputated after stepping on a landmine. He was cutting wood in a forest of Muse township, said a Muse resident who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

In Namhkam township, a woman was killed by a landmine on Jan.18 on her way to a farm, according to data compiled by RFA.

Five women and 17 men were injured by landmines across seven townships, including Lashio, Hsipaw, Manton, and Kokang region. The highest number of people injured were from Muse, according to compiled data.

The number of people injured by landmines was the highest in areas where the fighting between the military junta and the Three Brotherhood Alliance was intense, those living in northern Shan state said. However, residents could not confirm which group had planted the mines.

Neither the military nor the Three Brotherhood Alliance has released any information regarding deaths and injuries from landmine blasts.

Nationwide, 168 out of 330 townships are at risk of death or injury by landmines, compared to 100 in 2020, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor’s report released on Dec. 28, 2023.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.