Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called upon the general public to be vigilant and always report any suspicious objects they come across as a preventive measure against any likely unexploded ordinances or explosives.
The call follows an incident in Nyagatare District on Monday when a suspected landmine exploded killing five people in Nyamirama Cell of Karangazi Sector.
The victims, including three siblings, were apparently grazing cattle when they allegedly tried to play with the deadly object before it exploded killing them all on spot.
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 aged 12.
Others are Pika Rurangwa, 18 and a 12-year old Fred Kamwine.
“We received information of an explosion at about 4:30pm in a forest 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,” IP Kayigi said.
“Investigations are still underway to determine the circumstances under which this unfortunate incident happened, but we appeal to the general public including pastoralists and those cultivating to always be observant and whenever they come across any object they don’t know, it’s advisable to stay away from tampering with it and immediately inform the nearby security agencies for quick response and to prevent such disasters,” he added.
“Although this is a rare incident partly due to mass awareness against UXOs 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, parents and the elders in particular to continue with this awareness to prevent lives.”