Villager Loses Leg in Another Yephyu Landmine Blast

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A local man stepped on a landmine near Ah Lae Sakhan village in Tanintharyi’s Yephyu Township on Monday, losing his leg in the explosion, according to the village headman.

Nai Tun, of Han Gan village, stepped on the mine on the road three miles from Ah Lae Sakhan on the afternoon of May 4. He was returning from his garden in Kyaung Shar Kwin.

“Other villagers have stepped on landmines in the area in 2019,” Nai Tin San, Ah Lae Sakhan’s village headman, told NMG, referring to at least eight other blasts over the last two years. Some resulted in casualties.

This year, at least three landmines have gone off near the villages of Myauk Chaw and Kalae, causing two villagers to lose legs.

A landmine exploded in the Ye Chaung Phyar area, where the headquarters of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) are located, in March. One villager was killed and one injured.

Locals in Yephyu Township say that landmines often are found and are accidentally set off near gardens and on the road that locals use.

“We are afraid to go to our farms because people frequently step on landmines in the area. Here in this area, we are farmers and we use to go to work in our farm. If we cannot go and work on our farms, we have nothing we can do. This is time to clean our gardens. Therefore, we are in trouble,” a villager who lives in Ah Lae Sakhan told NMG.

Both the NMSP and the Karen National Union (KNU) have patrolled the area. Both have also denied planting mines there.

The mines began exploding after territory disputes took between the different armies, locals said.

The NMSP has said that even though discussions have been held with the Burma Army and the KNU, no one has been able to implement activities to address the landmine problem in Yephyu.