Kuajok boy loses hand to grenade explosion

A high school student is receiving treatment at a hospital in Wau after a hand grenade exploded in his hand in Kuajok town on Sunday, police said.

Police say Chan Madut Chan, 18, of Block 12 residential area was trying to play with the object, which he did not consider dangerous.

“A small child of six years picked up something, which he didn’t know and gave it his elder brother . The brother also didn’t know it was a hand grenade,” said Maj. Andrea Atem, Warrap State head of Crime Section at the police department.

“So, he removed the fuse of the grenade, and it exploded immediately. The explosion took off his left hand.”

Atem said the owner of the grenade remains unknown but police had launched an investigation to ascertain the owner of the explosive.

More than 5,000 South Sudanese have been killed or injured by land mines and unexploded ordnance since 2004, according to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

South Sudan is trying to clear all anti-personnel minefields and cluster munitions in the country by 2026.

While more than 84 million square meters of cluster munitions and mines have been cleared in nearly two decades, according to UNMAS — equivalent to approximately 15,000 American football fields — experts doubt that the deadline will be met as munitions are being found across the country daily.

Ten people were killed in March after mistakenly playing with a grenade in a remote village in Western Bahr el Ghazal state.