November 26, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 13 days ago

Foreign tourist killed in landmine blast in Myanmar hiking region

YANGON (Reuters) - A foreign tourist was killed and his companion injured in a suspected landmine blast in a popular hiking region in northern Myanmar close to an area of clashes between ethnic rebel groups and government troops, local sources said on Tuesday.

The pair were found outside Hsipaw town, northern Shan state, according to the leader of a charity group that brought them to a local hospital. Their nationalities could not be immediately confirmed.

“One died from stepping on a mine and the other got injured,” Ko Myo, an aid worker based in the town, told Reuters.

“The female survivor seems to be in shock so we couldn’t ask any questions so far.”

Myanmar is littered with landmines, a legacy of decades of civil conflict.

The scenic region of Hsipaw is popular with travelers but is close to the site of fighting in recent months between ethnic armed groups fighting for greater autonomy from the central government.

Two German travelers and their guide were wounded by shrapnel in a landmine blast in the same area in 2016.

Hsipaw township medical officer Dr Nanda Win said the tourist’s body had been taken to the local hospital.

Reporting by Shoon Naing, Writing by Poppy McPherson, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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