A 22-year-old Paletwa Township woman was injured in a landmine explosion just 10 days after her mother had also stepped on a landmine in the area.
Khin Lon sustained injuries to her right calf on January 17 after the mine exploded while she was tending to her farmland in Nga-shar village.
“She went to bring her paddy seeds to her rotating farm. Then she stepped on a landmine. She was admitted to Sittwe hospital,” a Paletwa local told Khonumthung News.
Khin Lon’s mother, Hawi Tin, also stepped on a landmine in the jungle on January 7. Her injuries—to her face and right leg—were deemed critical, and she was also also brought directly to the hospital in the Rakhine State capital of Sittwe.
Khin Lon and Hawi Tin’s family are farmers, without strong sources of income. Hawi Tin’s medical treatment for her landmine injuries was paid for with assistance from donors.
According to the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), which has been documenting landmine cases, the family is facing financial difficulties due to the cost of treatment for the mother and daughter.
CHRO reported at least eight recent landmine explosions in Paletwa Township—three people were killed, and five more have had to receive medical treatment for their injuries caused by the mines.
Southern Chin State, where Paletwa Township is located, has seen intensifying armed conflict between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army in recent years. It is considered a war zone, with thousands of people internally displaced by fighting. Landmines are a concern particularly for farmers, who are frequently injured or killed by mines while traveling to and from shifting cultivation sites in rural areas.