Five children were yesterday seriously injured when a hand grenade they were playing with exploded.
The incident took place in Karwema Cell, Mereneza Village in Mutendeli Sector of Ngoma District.
Vincent Sinamenye, 13, and other youngsters, identified only as Tuyizere, 5, Irafasha, 11, Tuyishimire, 8, Turasanganywe, 10, sustained head and leg injuries.
Three of them suffered serious head and body injuries from the grenade fragments.
The children were first taken to Mutendeli Health Centre where they received first aid treatment before being transferred to Kibungo Hospital.
According to area residents, the grenade was brought by one of the victims Sinamenye, who had gone to cut fodder for calves in a nearby swamp.
Jean Claude Sindayigaya, who was among the first people to respond following the blast, told The New Times that the children were lucky to survive.
“The children were very luck. They played with grenade for several minutes before it exploded in their hands. They were close to it and it’s a miracle that none died,” he said.
“I was so disheartened to see how the children were injured. We heard an explosion at 2.15pm and rushed to the scene where we found the children badly injured.”
Benoit Nsengiyumva, the Eastern region Police spokesman, warned the public, particularly children, against playing with objects they pick in the wild.
He asked parents to educate their children on the dangers of playing with metals or any other strange material.
“It is indeed upon parents to teach their children. These ones were playing with a deadly explosive. Some carry them to a metal industry for sale,” he said.
Nsengiyumva further warned the public that there may be some other isolated undetonated weapons due to past wars.
“Some grenades or other arms may be hidden somewhere. Most of them were detonated of course, but you never know how many remain. So, people should always be on the lookout.”