Last updated: 28 October 2018


All known casualties by end 2017

4,193 (537 killed; 3,538 injured; 118 unknown) mine/ explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties since 1999

Casualties in 2017[1]

Annual total


Decrease from
298 in 2016

Survival outcome

48 killed; 154 injured

Device type causing casualties

161 antipersonnel mines/improvised antipersonnel mine (victim-activated improvised explosive devices, IEDs); 1 antivehicle mine; 3 ERW; 37 undifferentiated mines/ERW

Civilian status

At least 11 military

Age and gender

At least 110 male; including 45 boys

At least 20 female: including 7 girls


In 2017, there were at least 202 mine/ERW casualties in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar based on information provided by NGOs, United Nations (UN) agencies, the ICRC, and other organizations, as well as by state and independent media reports. The vast majority of casualties were civilian, with just 11 casualties recorded as having been involved in military activities in 2017. Of the total casualties for 2017, at least 54 occurred in Kachin state, 37 in Rakhine state, and 67 in Shan state.

The 2017 casualty total for Myanmar is a decrease from the 298 mine/ERW casualties recorded for Myanmar in 2016. The 2017 total was however similar to the 159 casualties recorded for 2015 which was again a significant decrease from the 251 mine/ERW casualties recorded for 2014. It is slightly higher number than the 176 recorded by UNICEF for 2017.[2]

The actual total number of casualties is expected to be much higher. Although the presence of a number of mine action actors and coverage of victim assistance programs increased, no national systematic collection of casualty data occurred. Due to the lack of an official data collection mechanism, the absence of any basic reporting format or means of sharing data, and the varying sources of annual data available to the Monitor, reporting is believed not to reflect the full extent of mine/ERW incidents and casualties in the country.[3]

The numbers of military and other combatant casualties remain unknown, but is believed to be substantial. A Ministry of Defense official stated to Landmine Monitor that landmines were the chief cause of death and injury for the Tatmadaw (government military forces) over any other cause, however he said that if he revealed the figure “it would give a psychological weapon to our enemies.”[4] Past reporting by the Monitor has indicated that there are a significant number of military casualties, but such military records remain unavailable to the public.[5]

In 2018, some government officials began to release some limited information on landmine casualties, but it was not reported how the data was compiled, and the figures were not comprehensive. For example, in August 2018, Kachin state’s police were reported to have recorded eight deaths and 74 injuries from landmines since January 2018.[6] In June 2018, Shan state Minister of Bamar Affairs Dr. Aung Than Maung said 604 people were injured and 95 killed by landmines in Myanmar from 2014 to April 2018, stating he received the statistic from the Myanmar Red Cross Society.[7] According to the Kachin Independence Organization, from January to May 2018, 13 civilians were killed and 39 were injured by landmines.[8]

Furthermore, previously it was reported that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement had stated that landmines had injured or killed 298 people in Myanmar in 2015 and 2016, and that there was one landmine casualty “every three days.” The report also cited the ministry as saying, “One in three landmine victims is a child, and one in every four is killed.”[9] In August 2016, the Ministry of Health and Sports released data on landmine fatalities for the first time. The ministry reported that 101 people had died as a result of antipersonnel landmine incidents in Myanmar during the 18-month period from January 2015 to June 2016. Of that total, 74 deaths due to landmines occurred in Kachin state, 14 in Shan state, 11 in Chin state, and one each in Kayah and Rakhine states. It appears that this number includes only civilian fatalities and not military and other combatants killed. The Ministry of Health and Sports did not provide data on the number of people injured.[10]

As in all previous years, the available data contained insufficient detail to distinguish trends or to ensure that the data for all casualties was correctly recorded by the source. The actual number of casualties is likely to be much higher.

The total number of casualties in Myanmar is unknown. The Monitor reported annual casualty figures of 4,193 (537 killed; 3,538 injured; 118 unknown) between 1999 and the end of 2017.

Another elephant landmine casualty was reported in November 2017. Bangladeshi authorities believed the an elephant died due to stepping on landmines laid by Myanmar forces on the shared border. Bangladesh Forest Department authorities stated that the elephant herd depended on cross-border migration, and that the recently laid mines could threaten their continued existence.[11]

[1] Unless noted otherwise, Monitor casualty data for 2016 is from a combined dataset of published and unpublished sources. For 110 casualties the age group and sex was not reported.

[2] Nyein Nyein, “Landmine Campaigners Urge Action as Casualties Continue to Rise,” The Irrawaddy, 4 April 2018. Of the 176 casualties reported by UNICEF, 52 died and 124 were injured. UNICEF stated that women and children accounted for 43% of the casualties. Landmine Monitor includes UNICEF and UNHCR data and has been crosschecked for duplicate reporting.

[3] See also, Roger Fasth and Pascal Simon (Danish Demining Group), “Mine Action in Myanmar,” The Journal of Mine and ERW Action, Issue 19.2, July 2015.

[4] Landmine Monitor meeting with Col. (rtd) Min Htike Hein, Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence, Naypyitaw, 29 June 2018.

[5] See the 2009 edition of the Monitor report for Myanmar available on the Monitor website. Unprecedented levels of information on military casualties were received in 2008 from the State Peace and Development Council; 508 military casualties were identified. Information from this source has not been made available any other year.

[6] Tun Lin Aung, “Kachin state is in danger of landmine,” Myanmar Eleven, 6 August 2018.

[7] Ying Tai, “Shan State, Kachin State record highest number of landmine fatalities,” Shan Hearld Agency for News, 29 June 2018.

[8]The 7th Anniversary of the Renewed Kachin War: An Update,” Kachinland News, 9 June 2018.

[10]Over 100 landmine fatalities since January 2015,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 19 August 2016.

[11] Anwar Hussain, “Myanmar army’s landmines put elephants at risk,” Dhaka Tribune (Chittagong), 26 November 2017.