According to the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF), the junta recently planted landmines across oil and gas pipelines passing through Hsipaw Township in northern Shan State to China.

According to the rights group, an unconfirmed number of landmines have been planted near a pumping station in forested areas on both sides of the Mandalay-Lashio roadway.

According to SHRF, a Myanmar army sergeant informed Hawng Haeng’s headman that they were using landmines in the area for “security reasons,” despite local protests.

According to reports, the military has barred residents from approaching the mined region, which they have long utilized to collect edible plants and hunt for wild game.

“The mines are for [the military’s] own security, not for the locals’ security,” SHRF’s Sai Hor Hseng told the press.

Shan State, also known by the endonyms Shanland, Muang Tai, and Tailong, is a state of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Shan State borders China (Yunnan) to the north, Laos (Louang Namtha and Bokeo Provinces) to the east, and Thailand (Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son Provinces) to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma (Myanmar) in the west.

The largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km2, almost a quarter of the total area of Burma. The state gets its name from Burmese name for the Tai peoples: “Shan people”. The Tai (Shan) constitute the majority among several ethnic groups that inhabit the area. Shanland is largely rural, with only three cities of significant size: Lashio, Kengtung, and the capital, Taunggyi. Taunggyi is 150.7 km northeast of the nation’s capital Naypyitaw.