Landmine blast kills tourist in Myanmar

AFP
A German tourist was killed and an Argentine woman injured in a landmine explosion in Myanmar days after the country was shamed over its continuing use of the weapons.
AFP

A German tourist was killed and an Argentine woman injured in a landmine explosion in Myanmar, local police said on Wednesday, days after the country was shamed over its continuing use of the weapons.

The accident happened near the town of Hsipaw, a popular hiking spot for backpackers who often ride the scenic route by train from Mandalay to reach the mountains.

Tim Geibler, 40, died on Tuesday afternoon near the villages of Pan Nayung and Kwun Haung, a local police officer said.

“Tourists are not permitted to go to that area,” he said, adding that a 39-year-old Argentine woman was slightly injured.

A German foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the incident and said its Yangon embassy was in close contact with Geibler’s relatives

Huge swathes of Myanmar’s restive borderlands are no-go areas for holidaymakers, with various ethnic armed groups fighting the military for more autonomy in shifting violence that has endured for decades.

Two foreign tourists were injured in a mine blast in 2016 in nearby Kyaukme township.

Myanmar was one of the top offenders named in the Landmine Monitor 2019 report published last week.

The watchdog said it was the only country in the world where the use of new anti-personnel mines had been documented over the past year.

Both the military and armed groups stand accused of using mines and the country has so far refused to sign the Mine Ban Treaty.

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