Destinations

Tourist killed and another injured in Myanmar landmine explosion

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A foreign tourist has been killed by a landmine and another injured in a popular Myanmar hiking region.

A tourist has been killed and his companion injured in a landmine blast in northern Myanmar. The pair were reportedly found outside Hsipaw town, northern Shan state, according to the leader of a charity group that brought them to a local hospital.

The man was confirmed on Wednesday as a 40-year-old German citizen by Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

“The Embassy mourns a German tourist who has fallen victim to a landmine in Northern Shan State,” the Ministry writes on Facebook.

His companion, who was left “slightly injured” by the explosion, is reportedly a 39-year-old Argentinian woman, a local police officer told Agence France-Presse.

Without Borders, a nonprofit organisation that provides ambulance services, told media the woman has since been discharged from the hospital.

The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday in a popular hiking region in northern Myanmar close to the villages of Pan Nayung and Kwun Haung, an area of clashes between “ethnic rebel groups and government troups”, Reuters reported.

However, the police officer told AFP that “tourists are not permitted to go that area”.

According to the 2019 Landmine & Cluster Monitor report, Myanmar is littered with landmines, and one of the only country’s in the world to have used landmines in 2018. The report also found Myanmar is the only country in the world where the use of new anti-personal mines (which target people instead of vehicles) has been documented.

In 2018, the Monitor recorded 6,897 people were killed or injured by mines or explosive remnants of war (ERW) – 3,059 people were killed, 3,837 people were injured, and for one casualty the survival status was unknown.

As of November 2019, Myanmar is still a non-signatory to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) currently advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Myanmar overall.



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