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Two tourists, guide injured by landmine in Shan State

FILE PHOTO: Landmines have been widely used in the ongoing civil war in Burma. (Photo: DVB)

Two tourists and their Burmese guide sustained injuries when they stepped on a landmine in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township, according to a local civil society group.

Tin Maung Thein, chairman of the Kyaukme Social Assistance Organisation, said the tourists, who were reportedly German nationals, were touring the area with their guide when they were hit by a landmine explosion near Tawhpe, a village across the Namtsim Creek from Kyaukme.

“A family member of the guide informed the police in Kyaukme of the incident and we are now preparing to go pick them up. The tourists were said to be from Germany — the male tourist was hit in his thigh, and the woman and the guide both sustained injuries on their arms,” Tin Maung Thein told DVB on Tuesday, adding that the three were cared for by local villagers before being taken to Kyaukme Hospital.

The location of the incident is about one hour by car from the town and along the route are checkpoints manned by various ethnic armed groups.

The Shan State Army-South, a signatory to last year’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, is active on the Kyaukme side of Namtsin Creek, while on the other side is the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army, which has been clashing with government and SSA-South forces.

The police in Kyaukme told DVB the incident took place in a wooded area about 20 miles outside of the town and local authorities are investigating the case.