SAC Orders Troops to Plant Landmines Near Police Stations

SAC Orders Troops to Plant Landmines Near Police Stations

The SAC has ordered Myanmar Police Force Headquarters to plant landmines around police stations across the country, according to police sources.  

Police officers told DVB that the junta gave the order to the central police authority in Naypyitaw in early February.  The move is thought to be a response to lethal attacks on police stations by revolutionary forces which have escalated since September. 

Since the coup, the mining of infrastructure has emerged as the junta’s default response to attacks on its interests: recently, soldiers began laying landmines around Chinese investments — factories and pipeline — in Shan, Kachin and Mandalay following complaints by Beijing. Soldiers earlier mined towers and base stations belonging to Mytel after PDF groups led a hugely damaging sabotage campaign against the military telecom.

Sources said they believe that authorities have currently been tasked with prioritizing the mining of stations in regions where fighting is heaviest. Facilities in Ayeyarwady, Naypyidaw, and Yangon are not thought to be immediately included in the order.

“[The security forces] are likely to mine places where fighting is taking place, and have been ordered to procure landmines if they currently do not have enough. It is a precautionary measure for stations that do not have enough staff [to protect them],” a police officer said. 

The military has told the police to plant mines along routes leading to stations in areas where battles against PDFs were most frequent. Officers have been given the green light to request mines from respective regional military commands. 

A former soldier told DVB that the military had made the decree as it was now deeply concerned that bases and police stations in the northwest and southeast were falling away from its control.

Nearly 10,000 police officers are believed to have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement since the coup, with the majority defecting in regions where fighting is most intense. Police sources told DVB that a number of these officers were now working with PDF groups to actively destroy the junta’s police infrastructure.