Saturday March 18, 2023
By Cyrus Ombati
A herder was injured after an explosive device he tried to break, out of curiosity, hit him in Mandera East, Mandera County.
Police said Abdirizak Muktar, 21, was taking care of a herd of camels in Qombiso area when he stumbled on an object on March 14.
He picked up the object and started to break it using a stone before it exploded on his face and badly injured him.
Police said they later realized the object was an abandoned hand grenade.
This was discovered through analysis of the ordinance at the scene.
The victim was rushed to Mandera Bulla Maya nursing home for specialized treatment, police said.
Police have urged caution among herders in the area who are usually victims of such abandoned explosive devices.
Dozens of herders are usually injured in such incidents out of curiosity.
This is after they pick and try to play with them.
Last year, two children were killed after such explosives exploded on them in the same area.
The children were playing in the area when one of them hit the explosive that has since been established to be a grenade.
Police say most of the explosives are abandoned by suspected terrorists from Somalia who are roaming in the area.
North Eastern police boss George Seda said they are aware some of the explosives have been abandoned there by terrorists to cause harm to locals.
"We urge all concerned parties to be careful, especially in areas near the border where these explosives could be abandoned," he said.
He added they have deployed experts to comb the areas for the possible discovery of more of the devices. The officers will also educate locals on the objects.
The area is near the main Kenya-Somalia border which is usually breached by al-Shabaab terrorists who attack at will.
Terrorists have been targeting security installations in a series of incidents and destroying them. They at times throw explosives which don’t explode.
The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by residents.
The terrorists at times plant explosives on the routes used by security agencies and attack them.
Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.