Child killed in Uganda by suspected old grenade

2016-02-18 09:02

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Kampala – A child was killed and eight others wounded on Wednesday in Uganda when a suspected old grenade detonated as they played football, police said, insisting it was not a new bomb.

The blast in the capital Kampala came on the eve of presidential and parliamentary polls on Thursday, but no connection was made with the explosion and the election.

The blast occurred next to a primary school, but also opposite a former military barracks, and police said it was possibly old ordnance that was set off when the children discovered and played with it.

"A child aged around 12 years, who has been identified as Sam Lukemba, was fatally wounded... as a result of an explosion from an object suspected to be a remnant of an explosive buried in the ground," Kampala police spokesperson Fred Enanga said in a statement.

"A team of bomb experts has responded and are assessing the scene for more details."

Eight other children were "seriously injured" and had been taken to hospital, he added, without giving further details.

Defence spokesperson Paddy Ankunda insisted there had been "no bomb blast in Kampala" and that "children playing football found a peculiar object that exploded killing one."

Unexploded ordnance has been found in the country before.

In 2011, anti-landmine activists in western Uganda were stunned to discover a primary school using an unexploded mortar bomb as a bell. It was then safely detonated.

"We want to caution members of the public, especially children, against playing or tampering with objects they are not sure of," Enanga added.

Uganda has experienced several periods of violence over the past decades including the guerrilla war that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986.

Read more on:    uganda  |  east africa

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