In a disturbing development the Landmine Monitor is finding evidence of a battery-less antipersonnel mine being manufactured by atleast one ethnic armed organization.
Since mid-2020 Landmine Monitor has received detailed photographs of a new type of locally made antipersonnel, fragmentation, mine which does not rely on a battery and will remain active for a long time, making it much more dangerous to the villagers in the area.
The mine appears to be a locally made imitation of the KaPaSa (Defense Products Industries of Myanmar) MM-1 antipersonnel landmine, which is itself a copy of the older Soviet POMZ mine type. This new antipersonel landmine is stake mounted and the explosive charge appears to be placed in a crude cast metal body with a percussion detonator inserted into it. It is triggered by victims who inadvertently walk through a trip wire, usually around ankle or knee height on a path.
Until now, this mine type appears to be used solely in conflict between ethnic armed organizations in Northern Shan State. Landmine Monitor is not in a position to verify which ethnic organization is the producer of this antipersonnel landmine, however it represents a technology increase in locally produced lethal weaponry.
Mine casualties have remained a constant in Myanmar/Burma. Casualties due to antipersonnel landmines are currently overshadowed by the numbers of people who have been killed or injured by the military since it seized state power on 1 February 2021. However since that date, mine casualties have been recorded by the Landmine Monitor in Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Rakhine and Shan states. The most recent incident known occurred in mid-May, in Namtu Township in Shan State, where a couple tending their animals became victims of an antipersonnel landmine leaving one dead and the other injured.