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15-year-old student killed in Ann landmine explosion

Narinjara News, 11 July  2022

A 15-year-old middle school student was killed in a landmine explosion that took place in Ann township of Rakhine State, where the Myanmar military’s western command is stationed.

The villagers found the body on Saturday morning and brought it to his residence to bury in the local graveyard.

 The victim has been identified as Maung Si Thu Kyaw Lin (aka Lin Lin), an eighth-grade student from Kazukaing village.

 “We heard the sound of a landmine exploding at around 9 am on 9 July. The boy went to a hill near the village looking for bamboo shoots. He died on the spot,” said a villager.

Locals inform that the military council is still stationed on the hill where the mine exploded.

During 1 to 10 July, three villagers were killed and five others were injured in landmine explosions in the State.

 Pe Than, a former member of the Pyithu Hluttaw (people's assembly) for Myebon township, informed Narinjara News that the area where the mines exploded was in the vicinity of the battalion.

"Landmines are now more likely to be located in areas where the Burmese troops were stationed. One can suspect that they may plant new mines to protect their camp. Often the mines are not removed which later hurt common people. The military council must take its responsibility,” he added.

U Myat Tun, the director of Rakhine Human Rights Defenders Association, said that the landmines in Rakhine were planted by the military council and that new mines are still being planted.

"If they (army) refuse, the international mine experts should be invited to examine the issue. We strongly oppose the junta forces for the mines that hit the locals,” he added.

Pe Than added that the series of landmine blasts had raised the concern of common people as it created difficulties for the artisans and also the refugees who wanted to return home.

"The landmine explosions have prevented the refugees from returning to their villages, even though many of them want to go back to their places,” he added.

At 12 noon on 8 July, a landmine exploded near Paung Tot village under Mrauk-U township, injuring four Muslim children. Two of them were taken to Myaungbwe hospital with serious injuries.

Hla Maung (35) hailing from Myalikan village under Kyauktaw township died at Apaukwa village hospital on 4 July after he was hit by a landmine while grazing his cattle in a field near the village.

On 3 July, Maung Hla Tun (28) from Upper Kha Chi Myaung village, who went to cut bamboos near 9 division under Minbya township, faced a landmine blast and is now recovering with a broken leg.

On 1 July, U Than Sein Maung (45) from Wet Hmaing village under Kyauktaw township, died at Sittwe general hospital after being hit by a landmine while searching for cattle in the western part of their village.

 The increased number of landmines explosions have taken place in several Rakhine townships like  Ann, Myebon,  Mrauk-U, Minbya and Rathedaung.

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