German tourists in Myanmar recovering from landmine blast

2016-04-27 14:08

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Yangon - Two German tourists and their local guide were recovering on Wednesday from wounds suffered when they accidentally set off a landmine in eastern Myanmar.

The tourists, identified by the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper as Wiebke Rosler and Felix Zimmermann, both 24, had been trekking near Kyaukme township in Shan state with their guide when the mine exploded Tuesday afternoon. Ethnic militias have battled the government for decades in border regions, and there has been active fighting in the area since late last year.

Tin Maung Thein, a member of the ambulance crew that transported the victims, said Rosler appeared badly hurt, with injuries on her arm and near her ear. He said Zimmermann had minor shrapnel wounds on his right torso, and the guide was slightly injured.

He said the tourists were treated at a hospital in Mandalay and by Wednesday were both well enough to walk.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines said in an annual report last year that "Myanmar has produced the third highest number of known casualties due to antipersonnel mines over the past seven years." It said it had identified over 3 700 people killed or injured by land mines in Myanmar from 1999 through the end of 2014.

Myanmar is not among the more than 162 countries that have acceded to a Mine Ban Treaty, the group said. Both government and guerrilla forces are believed to still use the weapons.

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