Five young men, including three siblings, died on spot Monday evening, when a suspected landmine exploded after they discovered it while grazing in Karangazi Sector, Nyagatare District.
The five victims were apparently grazing cattle when, it is suspected, they tried to play with the deadly object before it exploded killing them all.
Police spokesperson for the Eastern Province, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi identified the victims as Manasseh Turatsinze, 30, his young brother Dany Rwanyange, 12 and their cousin Mujuni also 12.
Others are Pika Rurangwa, 18 and a 12-year old Fred Kamwine.
“We received information of an explosion at about 4:30pm in the woods in Nyamirama, Karangazi Sector and when the response team arrived shortly after, they found bodies of the five victims, which have since been taken to Nyagatare Hospital for a postmortem before they are released to their relatives for the burial,” Kayigi said.
According to Kayigi, investigations are still underway to determine the circumstances under which this unfortunate incident happened, but he appealed to the general public including pastoralists to always be careful whenever they come across any object they do not know.
“It’s advisable to stay away, not to tamper with it and immediately inform the nearby security organs for quick response and to prevent such disasters,” he added.
“Although this is a rare incident partly due to mass awareness against these landmines and demining programme, you can’t rule out the likely one or two unexploded ordinances that can cause casualties and loss of lives. We call upon teachers and parents to continue with this awareness to save lives.”
This area is part of the former Umutara region that was a battlefield for years during the 1990-1994 liberation struggle.