Somalia: Girl killed in explosion at IDP camp, 17 injured

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A child was killed and 17 people injured at an IDP camp in Somalia on Saturday after she picked up a grenade and brought it to a group of people.

A number of children are among those injured from the blast, which happened at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Somalia’s Sool region. Authorities say children mistook the hand grenade for a toy and were playing with it when it detonated.

 

Child killed in blast

“A child picked up an unexploded bomb somewhere near the camp and brought it among a group of IDPs resting under the shade of a tree and started playing with it,” said the police chief of Sool region, Khalif Mohamed Ali.

“It went off and injured 18 people. On her way to hospital, [the] child died from her wounds,” he added.

The camp where the incident occurred is in Ari Adeye village, north of Lasanod, the provincial capital of the region. The camp hosts thousands of families who face starvation after losing livestock to crippling drought conditions.

 

Five children injured

Local witnesses say there were five children injured in the explosion, including the girl who died on the way to hospital. The children are believed to be between the age of five and 10 years old.

“I heard a very loud explosion and I rushed to the scene, and I saw mothers crying and at least 18 injured people, five of them children,” one witness told VOA.

The explosion happens around 10 am local time and this isn’t the first time children have been killed while playing with unexploded arms. Authorities say they’re not sure how the grenade was left at the IDP camp in Ari Adeye.

 

Featured image: By AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41454205

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.