Border Landmine Kills and Injures Rohingyas

  • Written by Kaladan Press
  • Published in Kaladan Press

One Rohingya died and four others were seriously injured when a landmine exploded on the Burma-Bangladesh border near Maungdaw, Arakan State on 5 April, said a victim's close relative who wished to remain anonymous.

He said that the explosion took place on the morning of 5 April near Border Pillar 61 on the Burma-Bangladesh border while Rohingya villagers, who were recruited from Maungdaw North by the Burma Army and promised good wages, were working on the border fence.

Rakib, a village elder from the area said that the dead man was Tayub, age 45, and that the seriously injured men were: Mohibullah, age 24; Mohamed Rofique, age 22; Shomshu Alam, age 26; and Mohamed Jubair age 20.

According to a Burma Army aide from Buthidaung the four injured men were taken to Buthidaung Army Operation Command Headquarters where they are being treated with the help of staff from Buthidaung General Hospital. he said the victims were also interrogated by an army officer who had come from Sittwe (Akyab).

Tayub's body was taken to his village, Garata Bill (Padakah Daiwahnahli)) in Maungdaw North, Buthidaung Township and buried in the cemetery, according to Anwar from Tayub's family.

Hasu Meah, an ex-schoolteacher from Maungdaw Town said that some villagers believed that the explosion was caused by a mine laid by the Arakan Army (AA) or by the accidental detonation of  a mine laid by the Burma Army.

Ahmed Hussin, a villager from nearby the explosion said: "This happened because the Arakan Army planted mines where the Rohingyas were working on the border fence."

Jalil a local youth said that no one will know exactly what happened until the injured men are released as the accident happened in a remote area deep in the forest and the only witnesses were the army and the injured Rohingyas.

The Burma Army started rebuilding the Burma-Bangladesh border fence last year and has been planting mines in the areas where it was rebuilding the fence. The Bangladeshi authorities have objected to the mine planting because it violates border agreements, but the Burmese authorities have ignored them.

Kamal,a Bangladeshi villager from Bandarban District in Bangladesh said that the Burmese government planted landmines in the border areas about 12 years ago and that the mines had killed many Bangladeshi villagers and wild animals, including elephants.

Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI