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Four people including a four-year-old child have been injured by a landmine blast in southern Shan state’s Loilen district, according to local sources.
A staff member at the hospital in Panglong said four locals, all female, aged 37, 22, 16 and four, from Kyunit village about 10 miles west of the town, arrived at the hospital in the afternoon of 16 November with landmine injuries; two of them were in a serious condition and were later transferred to Loilen district hospital, she said.
“Two of them – the 19 and the 37-year-old – were transferred to Loilen hospital,” said a Panglong hospital staffer. “One of them has a large gash on her leg. The other two are receiving treatment in Panglong as out-patients.”
Sai Hseng Mong, a community leader in Panglong, said the four were out picking herbs at a hillside near the village.
“Four women from Kyunit village were foraging for herbs on the side of the Lwemont Hill when one of them, Nang Paw, stepped on a landmine,” he said. “Nang Paw sustained a serious injury; one of her calves was blown off and she took shrapnel in her body.”
It was unclear who laid the landmine. The area has been active with both Shan State Army-South and Burmese government forces engaging in clashes over the last month. Sai Hseng Mong said the Burmese army has since taken up positions on the hill.
Landmines have been used regularly by both the Burmese government troops and rebel groups during decades of conflict. According to this year’s report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, more than 3,300 individuals have been affected by landmines in Burma between 1999 and 2012 with deaths totaling more than 300.
Burma remains one of 36 nations that is yet to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.