Monks injured messing around with landmine in Shan State

Htun Nay Hlaing, Sithar

Eight monk initiates in Shan State were injured in a blast as they played with an old, unexploded landmine that they had found in a field.

On Monday, a group of 10 young monks from Namtu Township in Northern Shan State found the landmine in nearby farmland, brought it back to the monastery and were tinkering with it when it went off.

According to a doctor from the surgical ward in Lashio General Hospital, one monk suffered serious injuries and had been sent to Mandalay General Hospital while the rest, who sustained small to medium shrapnel injuries, were receiving treatment in Lashio.

Wi Sine Lone, a villager who lives near the monastery, said the mine was reportedly found by the monks four day beforehand.

“The mine were brought back three to four days ago and they have been playing with it since. On that day of the incident, one of the initiates dropped the mine from above on a hard surface. The mine looks to be very old – maybe from 20 to 30 years ago. There are no maps whatsoever on where mines were laid. There have been cases of cattle being blown up,” said Wai Sine Lone.

The monastery is home to at least 74 initiates as well as other senior monks.