Myanmar

Mu Traw District Incident Report: One villager died and another two villagers were injured due to landmine explosions along a road in Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District, July 2021

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This Incident Report describes events that occurred in Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw (Hpapun) District in July 2021. On July 16th 2021, at around 8:40 am, there were two separate landmine explosions triggered by tripwires placed along the road between U--- village and N--- village. The two incidents happened within minutes of each other. The first explosion resulted in the death of a villager from U--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township and the second explosion resulted in minor injuries to two villagers from N--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District. Local villagers are now frightened to leave their village.[1]

Part 1 – Incident Details

Type of Incident: Landmine explosion

Date of Incident(s): July 16th 2021

Incident Location (Village, Township and District): U---village, Meh Klaw village tract, [2] Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District

Victim Information

Name: Sai[3] Lin Naing

Age: 46

Sex: Male

Nationality: Shan

Family: Married

Occupation: Makes and sells charcoal

Religion: Buddhist

Position: Villager

Village: U---village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District

Name: Sai T---

Age: 50

Sex: Male

Nationality: Shan

Family: Married

Occupation: N/A

Religion: Buddhist

Position: N--- village head

Village: N--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District

Name: Sai H---

Age: 45

Sex: Male

Nationality: Shan

Family: Married

Occupation: N/A

Religion: Buddhist

Position: Villager

Village: N--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw District

Part 2 - Information Quality

1. Explain in detail how you collected this information.

A KHRG office staff member phoned the wife of one of the victims. She provided the details of both incidents.

2. Explain how the source verified this information.

The source is the wife of one of the victims (the man who died); she is also the relative of another one of the victims.

Part 3 – Complete Description of the Incident

Describe the Incident(s) in complete detail. For each incident, be sure to include 1) when the incident happened, 2) where it happened, 3) what happened, 4) how it happened, 5) who was involved, and 6) why it happened. Also describe any villager response(s) to the incident, the aftermath and the current living situation of the victims. Please use the space prepared below, and create an attachment if needed.

First landmine incident

On July 16th 2021, at about 8:40 am, a villager named Sai Lin Naing, 46 years old, who lives in U--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, ran over a tripwire that detonated a landmine planted by Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)[4] Battalion #102, Company (1), on the road between U--- village and N--- village (approximately 200 to 300 feet [61 to 91 metres] away from U--- village).

Sai Lin Naing noticed other villagers travelling on the road on July 15th 2021, therefore, on July 16th 2021 he thought it would still be okay to travel. That was why he set out on his journey. That morning, they [the family] only had 7,000 kyats [USD 3.94][5] left, so he told his wife that he would go to other villages to try to sell seven bags of charcoal. The family of Sai Lin Naing make charcoal from scratch and sell it to secure the family’s livelihood. The incident happened while riding his motorbike on his way to sell the charcoal. A few minutes after he set out from the village, his wife heard an explosion.

As soon as she heard the explosion, she went by bicycle to see whether her husband was hurt. When she reached the incident place (about 200 to 300 feet away from the village), she found him unconscious on the ground. She explained to KHRG that it was lucky that she had not stepped on any other tripwires at the incident location. The wire was so tiny that it was hard to see. When she saw her husband was bleeding profusely and had injuries to the right side of his chest, she went back to the village to get help.

At first, she wanted to send him to Hpapun Public Hospital, but the village head told her that they would not be able to make it in time [given the extent of his injuries]. In their village, there is no clinic or hospital. Later, some villagers helped bring him back to his house. He passed away as soon as they brought him back to his home.

The KNLA soldiers usually inform villagers not to travel on the main roads when they have planted landmines nearby. This time, however, the KNLA soldiers failed to inform the villagers about the landmines that they planted.

The victim’s family members never attended the Mine Risk Awareness training provided in their village as they were struggling every day to secure their livelihood. They had only been provided pamphlets to read. [In this case, however, if villagers have not been made aware that landmines have been planted on the road, they are at elevated risk of accidentally encountering a landmine and being harmed, whether they have received Mine Risk Awareness training or not.]

Sai Lin Naing is survived by his wife and four children: three daughters and a son. All four children attend school. Since her husband’s death, Sai Lin Naing’s wife doesn’t know what to do. In her village, it is really hard to find work. The family is currently facing financial difficulties. The wife does not even have money to bury her husband. The funeral service group helped the family with 20,000 kyats [USD 11.26]. Later, KHRG was able to provide 555,000 kyats [USD 313.34] for the family.

Second landmine incident

On the same day, a few minutes after the accident involving Sai Lin Naing, two villagers, Sai T---, 50 years old, and Sai H---, 45 years old, from N--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township, drove over a tripwire which detonated a landmine while riding on their motorcycle to U--- village. Their injuries were minor, and they did not require medical treatment as the speed at which they were riding protected them from most of the shrapnel.