By The Stateless Rohingya
MAUNGDAW: A landmine explosion in Ngar Sar Kyu village, northern Maungdaw leaves several casualties on Saturday, July 15.
The explosion took place at 10:00AM local time when a group of Rohingya farmers accidently came into contact when ploughing in the paddy farm for harvesting.
Among the casualties is a 17-year old Rohingya student named Sayed Ullah, son of Noor Alam who was helping his father in the paddy field at the time of explosion. Sayed Ullah was student at Kyein Chaung (Boli Bazar) High School undertaking 2017-18 academic year of Matriculation.
Three other Rohingya sustain life-threatening injuries in the landmine explosion including a 11-year old boy. The Border Guard Police (BGP) reportedly took them to a clinic in Kyein Chaung, northern Maungdaw.
The injured Rohingya are – Hamid, aged 11, son of Firhan; Firhan, aged 61, son of Mohammed Sayed; and Usman, aged 18, son of Mohammed Ali.
A local eyewitness under anonymity said, “The injuries are so severe that we are afraid of their lives. Now, the villagers particularly farmers are panicked and frightened by the explosion, and we don’t know how many landmines are out there hidden in paddy field.
The farming is only we have to survive after we have lost everything and terrified by Myanmar army military campaign.”
He also said that the army has laid landmine in routes and farms which many Rohingya villagers utilise.
Myanmar is one of the 35 countries which has not signed the Ottawa Treaty (The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction), and the country is considered among the top three countries (Libya and Syria) with highest number of landmines dispersed in the world.
The “Clearance Operations” launched on October 9, 2016 was internationally condemned for indiscriminately targeting Rohingya civilians in the northern part of Maungdaw, Rakhine State, leaving more than 75,000 Rohingya refugees in neighbouring Bangladesh, extrajudicially killing nearly 1,000 Rohingya men, youths and women, destroying thousands of houses and countless of livestock and blocking humanitarian assistance and independent media. The United Nations calls for an independent investigation for “crimes against humanity” committed by the Myanmar Army during the operations.