YANGON: Four Rohingya Muslim children were killed by a landmine explosion in Myanmar's western Rakhine state on Tuesday (Jan 7) which the military and ethnic insurgents blamed on each other.
Five other children and their teacher were also wounded when the group stepped on the landmine as they went to collect firewood in the village of Kyauk Yan, military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said by phone.
The wounded were being treated at local hospitals and three were in a serious condition, he said.
He said the landmine was laid by fighters from the Arakan Army, an insurgent group that recruits mostly from Rakhines Buddhist majority. A spokesman for the rebels, who want more autonomy for Rakhine state, blamed the blast on the military.
"One childs head was crushed. We could only retrieve his body. We brought the bodies to their families and buried them later in the evening," said a villager who asked not to be named for fear of retribution.
Last year, 143 children were killed or wounded in numerous civil wars being fought along Myanmar's porous borders, the United Nations Children's Fund said.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Rakhine state since fighting broke out last December.
The region came to global attention in 2017 when more than 730,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh to escape an army crackdown which UN investigators said was carried out with "genocidal intent".
Several hundred thousand remain in Myanmar. They live under apartheid-like conditions, confined to camps and villages aRead More – Source