Two Children Injured in Amuru Bomb Blast
BY DENIS OTIM
Two children are critical in Lacor Hospital in Gulu, after a bomb blast injured them in Amuru district, Northern Region of Uganda on Sunday.
The victims, identified as Ivan Kidega, 8, and his brother Joel Owiri, 11, are residents of Cindi village, Otwee Town Council, where the incident happened. They are pupils of Otwee primary school.
The Resident District Commissioner, RDC, of Amuru district, Mr. Bilak Jalmoro told The Northern Era in a telephone interview on Monday, that the children were injured while hunting for edible rats.
According to Mr. Bilak, the scene of the incident was a detach used by the Uganda People's Defence Force, UPDF, during the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA, insurgency.
He suspects that the Rapid Propelled Grenade, RPG, could have been abandoned by the UPDF, or the LRA during the insurgency.
Mr. Jalmoro said preliminary investigations indicate that the children were injured when a RPG shell exploded.
“We are unsure of what triggered the bomb blast. We still don’t know whether the children tried playing with it when they found it or accidentally stepped on its trigger,” Mr Jalmoro said.
He called on the intervention of the Tactical Field Engineering Unit under the Fourth Division Infantry headquarters in Gulu district, to assess the area for Unexploded Ordnances, UXOs.
The Fourth Infantry Division Spokesperson, Maj Telesphor Turyamumanya regretted the incident.
He noted that the UPDF tactical field engineering unit will be dispatched to check the area for presence of other UXOs.
Maj Turyamumanya said that although they have destroyed thousands of UXOs, many such active explosives left by the LRA, are still within various locations in the region.
He urged the community to be vigilant, and report cases of suspicious objects to security personnel, or local authorities.
Many people have died, while others have been left with grave injuries by explosives suspected to have been left behind by the LRA in northern Uganda.
In January last year, six children from the same family in Angagura sub-county, Pader district were left with grave injuries after a hand grenade they were playing with exploded.
The fear of being hit by such UXOs has forced many peasant farmers in the region to abandon farming for other economic activities.