Wed 21 Aug 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
The landmine clearance efforts were taken up in response to demands made by residents of Myaing Gyi Ngu.
“The community leaders of villages in Myaing Gyi Ngu and the United Committee of Karen Armed Groups held an emergency meeting on July 13 and decided to clear the landmines,” Major Nai Maung Zaw of the Karen BGF told Mizzima. He added, “The second meeting was very fruitful as we were able to overcome mutual distrust between us and brothers from other groups.”
The united group cleared landmines in regions controlled by DKBA’s Battalion 906 and around Wadu, Watamaw, Wathawkho, Meezai and Kawhe villages that are controlled by the BGF’s Battalion 1014.
Lieutenant Colonel Ye Chit of DKBA’s Battalion 906, Major Maung Chit of the Karen BGF’s Battalion 1004 and Lieutenant Colonel Saw Myint Htwe of KNU led the landmine clearance efforts.
They have cleared various types of landmines including handmade landmines, abandoned blast mines and foreign made ones. The only way to dispose of abandoned blast mines is to detonate them.
Most of the landmines were planted in Meezai, Kyonehtaw and Yinpine areas in Myaing Gyi Ngu, according to Major Nai Zaw Maung.
They have cleared more than 50 landmines so far and put up warning signs in the areas where it is difficult to dig them up.
They also have detonated landmines that are difficult to dig up. A DKBA soldier was injured during detonation, according to Captain Thri Htoo, Intelligence Officer DKBA of Kalohtoobaw Command.
“We have to detonate landmines that are difficult to dig up. A DKBA soldier was hit by fragments, while detonating one of the landmines”, he told Mizzima.
Major Zaw of the Karen BGF said that they have not received reports from all the groups that are carrying out clearance efforts, so it was difficult to give an estimate of the exact number of landmines and their locations. However, he said 80 percent of the task was complete.
The DKBA laid landmines in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area after it separated from KNU in 1994. Some of the landmines were laid during the three-day fighting between DKBA and the government’s BGF that broke out on April 27, 2013.