Villagers flee after landmine blast, hostilities continue in Myanmar's Shan State

| Updated: Jul 11, 2016 21:31 IST

Naypyidaw, July 11 (ANI): A recent landmine blast that killed a person and increased activity by hostile ethnic armed groups in the Mine Ton township of Myanmar's Shan State has led more than 320 villagers living in the Mong Maw village tract seeking refuge in Shwe Myin Thar monastery. "Ta'ang armed groups came to the villages and blasted landmines here and there in that village tract. The people decided to leave their villages because they are too scared." said Sai Htun who is helping the displaced. "Half of the refugees are school-aged children. They cannot study because they are refugees now. I would like to ask the president to solve this conflict in northern Shan State," added Sai Htun. Villagers fear the area could become a battlefield between the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) as the RCSS has been setting camps up in the mountains around the villages, while the TNLA has taken up positions in the villages, reports the Myanmar Times. The two ethnic groups have clashed sporadically, beginning in November. Earlier, the RCSS had signed a nationwide ceasefire agreement with the previous government, while the TNLA was excluded. (ANI)