ISSN 2330-717X

Myanmar: Landmines And Gunfire Claim Three Civilian Lives, Injure At Least 23 In Arakan Conflict

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At least three civilians were killed and 23 others were injured due to landmines and shooting incidents in Arakan State and Chin State’s Paletwa Township last month amid sustained, renewed fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA), according to a DMG tally. 

Those casualties took place in Minbya, Sittwe, Kyauktaw, Buthidaung, Mrauk-U and Paletwa townships. One died each in Minbya and Mrauk-U due to landmines, and a Muslim man was killed in Sittwe in a police shooting

Twenty-three civilians were reportedly injured in Minbya, Kyauktaw, Paletwa, Buthidaung and Mrauk-U townships, 19 of whom were hit by heavy or small arms fire, and four others the victims of landmine encounters. 

Most of the casualties were reported in Minbya Township, with one death and 10 others injured, followed by Kyauktaw, where four people were injured. Among the victims were seven women and 19 men. 

Former Lower House lawmaker U Oo Tun Win from Kyauktaw Township said such casualties would decline if the two sides were to engage in political dialogue. 

“To bring down civilian casualties, it is important for the two sides to engage more in political dialogue. If the two sides can engage in dialogue, such casualties will decline automatically,” he said. 

Unlike the previous military-AA conflict, the renewed fighting is also markedly harming the lives of townspeople, a Kyauktaw resident told DMG. 

“Previously, only rural areas were hit by gunshots and artillery shells. Now, even town residents are hit by gunshots. We don’t sleep well at night due to shellings and aircraft flying over the town. We don’t feel safe even at our homes,” she said. 

Since August, more than 16,000 people have been displaced by the renewed fighting in Arakan State and Paletwa Township. Along with those displaced by the previous fighting who remain in displacement camps, the number of displaced people as a result of the military-AA conflict totals more than 90,000, according to a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) this month.

DMG

Development Media Group (DMG) was founded on the Thai-Myanmar border on January 9, 2012, in accordance with the current requirements of Arakan (Rakhine) State, by both residents inside the country, and former residents now in exile, who see value in meaningful quality media and applying news media as a powerful resource for regional stability, peace-making, and holistic and sustainable development.

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