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A total of 42 people were killed in Myanmar due to landmine explosions. - AFP/File pic

The number of people killed by landmine explosions this year is nearly twice the total of casualties the whole of 2018 in Myanmar.

Up to September this year, 42 people were killed while 168 were injured, including 126 of those who were maimed in mine blasts.

Last year 23 were killed and 136 were injured, U Win Naing Tun, the Resettlement department director general said, according to the Myanmar Times.

Most of the explosions happened in conflict areas, based on a report compiled by the department, which is under the Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement ministry.

Stressing his point on the troubled areas having the most explosions U Win said 46 percent of the blasts were in the Shan state, 24 percent in Rakhine while 18 percent in Kachin.

He also said landmines are the main cause of disabilities in the country.

Lieutenant Colonel Aye Win of the Defence ministry said landmines and unexploded ordnance remain widespread across the country plagued by armed conflicts since the country gained independence in 1948.

Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining director Stefano Toscano said efforts to clear mines in Myanmar will need to continue for the sake of the people.

He said the fear of landmines is preventing farmers from tilling their farms, workers from doing infrastructure jobs which is necessary to drill water or build schools and hospitals.

Since 2017, the government has contributed 100 million kyat (RM274,300) to 535 landmine victims nationwide through the Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement ministry.

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