6.6 square kilometre area adjacent to the Thai-Myanmar border, in Tha Sae district, in Chumphon Province of Thailand, was the site of battles between the Karen National Liberation Army and the Tatmadaw in times past.
200 landmines were found during clearance which completed this month according to the Royal Thai Army’s Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC).
A TMAC’s land survey of the entire area found 3.46 sq/km, roughly half of the area, did not have contamination by landmines but that 3.17 sq/km of dangerous areas did have landmines.
During the past few years, TMAC surveyed the dangerous area to make risk assessments and remove landmines.
TMAC chief Wisut Uthitwattana stated “We classify land into three zones. First is landmine-intensive, second is a high slope that is less risk, and third is relatively free area such as hunting tracks and farmland that we plan to return to villagers for farming after we make sure the area is safe.”
Information from a land survey last year found there are three landmine-intensive areas. A first area of 27,580 sq/m, which when cleared was found to have 106 mines and 157 munitions. The second area was 12,688 sq/m, which when cleared was found to have 70 landmines and 21 large-sized munitions. A third area of 15,690 sq/m which when cleared was found to have 42 landmines and four munitions.
Mines laid near border areas with surrounding countries, in Bangladesh, India, China and Thailand have been cleared and made safe by the authorities in those countries, when the mines from conflicts in Myanmar were laid on the territory of the adjacent state. Currently no mine clearance is occurring in Myanmar.
‘Army centre clears 200 landmines’ Bangkok Post, 12 March 2020