Landmines still killing Pa-an villagers

An independent human rights organization, Karen Human Rights Group have reported that thousands of unexploded landmines are a daily threat to the lives of the civilian population and their livestock in Karen State.

KHRG said that in Nabu Township, Pa-an District area that a 21-year-old man was killed and another 40-year-old male lost a leg in different landmine incidents between August 28th 2012 and November 1st 2012.

The KHRG documented that a soldier from the Burma Army’s Light Infantry Battalion, 275, lost a leg in a separate landmine incident.

Saw Albert, KHRG’s field director spoke to Karen News.

“And those landmine incidents were only those that we covered in our research area. We censored the victim name for security reasons. It is clear villager lives are still insecure because of the thousands of landmines that have not been cleared, despite a ceasefire arrangement being in place.”

Saw Albert said that there are a lot of landmines in the Dooplaya and Pa-an district if compared to other districts in eastern Burma. He said many armed groups such as the Karen National Liberation Army, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, the Burma Army and its militia, the Border Guard Force – all are active in the region.

KHRG said that it is difficult to define exactly whose landmines are a threat to the local community, as there are many armed groups active in the area.

Villagers from Htee Klay, Noh Kay and Htee Kyah Rah reported to KHRG’s community representative that they feel that travel is unsafe and they are afraid of landmines in their area.

A KHRG previous report stated that one civilian had been and two others injured in landmine accident in Pa-an district in June this year.

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