A 28-year-old woman was killed after stepping on a landmine while searching for yams in southern Chin State’s Paletwa Township last week.
Hpyit Lite was from Nga Tein village in the upper part of Paletwa’s Pee Chaung area. She is survived by a five-year-old daughter.
According to Peter Lwi Lu, editor of the local Khumi Media Group, Hpyit Lite traveled with five of her friends last Thursday to the base of the Khayu mountain, 30 minutes from her village, to look for yams. She was pronounced dead after stepping on a landmine. It remains unknown which armed group planted the explosive.
“The landmines make it so dangerous,” Peter Lwi Lu said of the area, which is near Burma’s border with Bangladesh. “Armed organizations set up landmines to attack opposing armed groups, but it’s very sad that innocent civilians are killed by these landmines. I think the government should help the families of landmine victims.”
Clashes have occurred between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army in Paletwa Township since 2015, with battles breaking out as recently as last week, according to local sources. Hundreds of villagers have fled as a result of the fighting in recent years.