Civilian Killed As Shell Explodes on Northern Shan State Tea Farm


Thursday, October 10, 2019

One villager was killed and another injured after an unexploded artillery shell went off on a tea farm in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township on Tuesday morning, according to the Ta’ang Women Organization (TWO).

Six locals from the community of Tawng Palo were working on the tealeaf farm when they disturbed the dormant shell at around 9:00 a.m. on October 8, located between Tawng Palo and Mangsan. It then exploded.

“One villager was killed on the spot and another villager got injuries. He has received medical treatment at Kyaukme public hospital,” Lway Chee Sangar, who works with TWO, told NMG.

The deceased is Hser Aye, age 40. Thirty-year-old Pan San was wounded but survived.

“He has serious injuries… to his chest, his legs and his stomach,” Lway Chee Sangar said of Pan San, adding that she did not know if he would need to undergo an operation as part of his treatment.

Landmines frequently explode in the area, which is actively patrolled by the Burma Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Restoration Council of Shan State. It is unknown which group was responsible for the shell that exploded on Tuesday.

TWO said that unexploded shells and landmines continue to be a danger for villagers in Kyaukme, Kutkai, Hsipaw and Namhsan townships in northern Shan State, where the highest numbers of explosions occur. Incidents also have been reported in Namtu and Mong Ton townships.

“At least 20 people have been killed by landmines or shell explosions. Nearly 40 people have been injured,” Lway Chee Sangar said of 2019 so far.