Kachin landmines kill 11 last year

Landmine blasts killed 11 people and injured 79 in 2015 in Kachin State, according to police records.

The police said there was 52 mine blasts last year in the state, adding that the victims were mostly farmers, workers and children. 

Moe Thu, a social activist from Sarmaw village tract, said: “Two were killed among 10 hit by the landmines in our region last year. They included Kachin and Shan people. An eighth-grade child was among the dead. Most of them triggered the landmines in the forest while searching for bamboo and fish. They were set by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and government troops. About 120 farmers stopped working hundreds of acres of their land for fear of mines. There is no support for the landmine victims from the government. Minister Thein Zaw visited the victims only once. And there is no aid from other organisations."

Most mine blasts occurred in Kachin’s Hpakant and Mohnyin regions. 

“Most mine blasts took place in Mohnyin, Moekaung, Hpakant and Tanaing regions, especially along routes towards the KIA bases and nearby. The mines were set up for government troops but mostly hit residents. They’re too strong,” said Major Chit Oo from Kachin State police.