Myo Thiri Kyaw | DMG
18 September, Paletwa 

A woman was killed and four others were injured when a landmine exploded in Paletwa Township, Chin State, on the morning of September 18, according to locals. 

Forty-year-old Daw May Nu Thein died on the spot after stepping on a landmine near Aungzedi Hill, east of Paletwa town. Four others were wounded in the blast while the group was going to the nearby forest to forage, said U Aung Aung, a relative of the deceased. 

“Four others sustained minor injuries and their conditions are considered not life-threatening because they were going about 13 feet apart,” he explained. 

Local residents in several Arakan State townships have expressed growing concern about their safety and the risks of working their fields due to increasing landmine encounters and an accompanying rise in civilian casualties. 

“The main problem is an economic downturn,” said Ko Tin Tun Aung, a resident of Paletwa town. “Only if the military opens the waterways will the livelihoods of the people in Paletwa town be OK. I would like to ask the military to open the waterway as soon as possible.” 

Both land and water transport routes have been blocked or heavily restricted in recent weeks as part of COVID-19 preventative measures amid an ongoing outbreak of the deadly virus in Arakan State. 

DMG efforts to reach Salai Myo Htike, an Upper House lawmaker for Chin State, seeking comment on the landmine incident were unsuccessful. 

Hostilities between the military and the Arakan Army have flared with regularity in western Myanmar since late 2018, and the number of civilians killed or wounded by landmines, errant artillery fire or other combat-adjacent violence continues to rise.

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